Thoughts from Friends: Jeanne Anderson

My Domestic Bucket List

Jeanne Anderson, Friends of Robinson Gardens Board Member


“Happiness is a work of art. Handle with care.” Edith Wharton


For me, gardens have always been a place where dreams can someday come true.

Someday became TODAY last March when I decided to fulfill the dreams I had for my home and garden. I had already read my coffee-table garden books from cover to cover, and I decided it was time to purchase things I loved and hire people who would work safely and make my surroundings cozier.

During last spring’s rains, I was scrolling through 1stDibs where I found a 200-year-old garden gate from Jaipur (the Pink City—Virginia would love it) and realized I had the perfect place for it. I had the exterior of the house painted in more pastel shades to channel the mood I was in. And my vintage iron garden furniture got powder-coated in Bercy Blue. I bought extra small tables for outdoor dining. They are easy to rearrange, and they allow us to sit safely apart when friends visit. I put pots of rosemary, basil, lavender, and citrus-scented geraniums (the source of citronella) nearby to keep the insects away.

The more I did, the more I discovered that needed doing. My driveway got power cleaned.  I added more outdoor lighting, including the beautiful hanging solar lights I was recently given. I concluded that I needed a new garden cart—or a live-in masseuse—and I found the perfect mid-century one with a bicycle wheel in my favorite blue. When I watched “The Dig” on Netflix that night, the excavator had the same cart.

After viewing several episodes of Gardener’s World on Britbox, my list of Things to Do increased again. The succulents in pots needed repotting, so my best friend, Amazon, sent me special gloves for that job. I have taken several pruning classes, and I love getting rid of the old wood that plants don’t need. It’s like us when we get a haircut, but fortunately, they don’t have to go to the salon. When I first pruned roses decades ago, I couldn’t imagine how something that looked dead could be spilling over with magnificent blooms just three months later. Next, the tree trimmers came and pruned all my trees and thirty-foot hedges.

I bought fabulous plants, including a “cancan fern” I haven’t seen since the Fern Show at the Arboretum twenty years ago. I found a pink gardenia online, and I’m anxiously awaiting its first bloom. I also went bulb-crazy, ordering some for every season. My favorites are alliums and “Rose Lilies” (which are fragrant, fluffy, and pollen-free).

Now my faithful and beloved garden plants are starting to do their part. The glorious Flamingo Boxelder Maple (with the magnificent white, green and pink variegation) opened in April. And my Princess Diana Clematis is opening and climbing through the roses.

I’m finally ready to share my dream of a garden with my friends.

Stuffed Peppers & Simple Spring Salad

From Kerstin Royce

Stuffed Peppers


  • 1/2 lb. Italian turkey sausages
  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 package of Spanish rice (8.8 oz)
  • 4 large poblano or yellow peppers
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 cup or more Mexican cheese blend
  • Cilantro


  1. Half the peppers, clean, and broil (skin up) for 5 minutes until slightly charred.
  2. Sauté the beef and the turkey sausage meat until cooked.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste (you may not need it).
  4. Cook the rice with its spices until done.
  5. Add the meat to the rice and set aside.
  6. Fill the pepper shells with the rice/meat mixture.
  7. Pour some of the hot enchilada sauce over each pepper.
  8. Top with the cheese mixture.
  9. In a 400 degree oven, cook peppers until cheese melts.

Serve with sour cream, your favorite salsa, and top with cilantro.

I also serve with a mixed green salad and corn on the cob.

Simple Spring Salad


  • Butter lettuce
  • Sweet grape tomatoes, halved
  • Persian cucumbers, sliced
  • Dried cranberries
  • Pine nuts
  • Marston dressing

25 Responses

  1. Wendy R. Wintrob
    | Reply

    Thanks for sharing all your beauty! You have been very busy Jeanne. Enjoy all your garden newness. And to quote Leonard Nimoy- “ A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”

  2. Krista Everage
    | Reply

    Thank you for sharing all this delight!! Just beautiful in every detail and pink blossom. I am enchanted!! Springtime is the best time!!

  3. Patti Reinstein
    | Reply

    I now know what heaven will look like. Breathtaking

  4. Connie Ching
    | Reply

    What a delight to be able to see the images of your dream garden! Thanks for sharing the photos! Hope to “see” you soon.

  5. Regina Drucker
    | Reply

    Shangri-la on Arden, it would make Doris Duke quite envious. Jeanne, you forgot to mention ‘SECRET SAUCE’ which makes all grow from a Vision within to Reality – YOU! We send much Love to you, Sister Jeanne of America, your a UNIQUE. Love your lil one’s pic, she is absolutely gorgeous and just makes the final touch in your Eden.

  6. Julia Klein
    | Reply

    I’ve been transported across the country to an amazing, unique, breathtaking, beautiful, fragrant personal Eden… on Arden! What a gift this is that you so graciously share, Jeanne. …… missing the CA Mediterranean climate…..

  7. Katrina Fuchs
    | Reply

    Jeanne your garden looks gorgeous and radiant. Great improvements that you will love, live and share with family and friends everyday. Bravo! ??

  8. Katrina Fuchs
    | Reply

    Jeanne your garden looks gorgeous and radiant. Great improvements that you will love, live and share with family and friends everyday. Bravo!

  9. Angela Movassaghi
    | Reply

    Jeanne, I always thought your home and garden had a magical touch, it always feels so welcoming. Thank you for sharing pictures of your labor of love.

  10. Betty and Fred Goldstein
    | Reply

    Jeanne, what a wonderful article to read on a Sunday morning. So inspiring. Lovely story and beautiful pictures of your garden.
    Kerstin, can’t wait to try your recipe.

  11. Marcella Ruble
    | Reply

    I simply loved the visual results of the delightful description of your process of refreshing and renewing your Garden Paradse this past year.

  12. Bernice Balson
    | Reply

    “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God‘s hand writing, “. Ralph Waldo Emerson

  13. Sydney Tanner
    | Reply

    Jeanne ~ My goodness, you have been busy!!! And it’s all gorgeous. xoxo

  14. Kirith Prady
    | Reply

    So beautiful Jeanne!

  15. Jayne Wilson
    | Reply

    Jeanne, thank you for sharing your magical space! It is so vibrant with zen like energy. Such beauty!!! The plants & blooms are gorgeous. A good reminder to keep dreaming ! You’re so wonderful!

  16. Diane Jenkins
    | Reply

    Jeanne…Beautiful photos! Your enchanted garden is so inspiring. Your love shines through it. ??Kerstein, Can’t wait to try your recipes! ❤️?

  17. Cynthia C Fields
    | Reply

    Absolutely stunning dear Jeanne–both you and your garden!

  18. Jodi Stine
    | Reply

    It’s beautiful Jeanne. My favorite part is that each plant stands alone and yet they all live happily together under your care. That’s one lucky garden! Thank you for the inspiration.

  19. Stacy Klines
    | Reply

    Jeanne, you are the only one who could create something this unique and lovely. Your eye for combining antique oddities, blooming treasures, and a well-curated collection from years of study and experience delight anyone lucky enough to visit your garden.

  20. Rosanna Grabel
    | Reply

    Magical, mystical,and inviting! One can imagine Mother Nature’s perfume wafting throughout the arches and corridors. Jeanne you have inspired use to new garden heights! I thank you!??????

  21. Rosanna Grabel
    | Reply

    P.S. I love Julia’s “Eden on Arden” . That’s Jeanne’s new name for her garden.?????????

  22. David Bourassa
    | Reply

    I could not imagine your wonderful oasis of a garden get more tranquil, fabulous

  23. Suz Landay
    | Reply

    Your keen eye and perfect taste show in every photo of your garden! I can’t wait to see it!

  24. Elaine Stein
    | Reply

    I love your stunning garden! It
    transports me to a beautiful, relaxing

  25. Kerstin Royce
    | Reply

    Love that name “ Eden on Arden”…always something new to feast your eyes on. ??

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