You never know what you’ll stumble upon when browsing The Weed Lady’s place. As we drove north toward Fenton, I assured my friend Maureen something beautiful and valuable would call our names.

My two previous visits to this gardener’s paradise dated to more than a decade ago. Maureen’s recent birthday presented the perfect occasion to return. We’d spend the afternoon celebrating with plants and dine on beef tenderloin afterward at Lucky’s.

“They have the best steak,” a friend of Maureen’s and Fenton resident had said. And I’d heard the same vote of confidence from Imlay City friends.

Maureen’s phone guided us to our destination on Fenton Road. I didn’t recognize the area for all the recent development. At last, The Weed Lady’s wooden house appeared on our right.

As I remembered, the scent of every square inch surrounding the landmark welcomed us. A gurgling pool and begonias of various varieties sat amidst repurposed furniture and garden structures.

Urns of all sizes and prices and succulent plants led us into the gift shop. Maureen spied Italian terracotta pots. Mama and Papa pots with offspring of all sizes waiting for a sunny window or garden. And our adventure had just begun.

“Ready for the greenhouse?” I asked.

“Yes! I’d like to find a succulent for my kitchen window.”

On our path to the greenhouse, every garden structure imaginable sat arranged with like kinds. Again, the urns tempted me.

“I cannot buy what I cannot carry to the car and into my gardens,” I said.

Maureen smiled. “Good idea.”

I spied a group of dog statues lounging under a huge tree. “I wonder if they have a Lab,” I said, thinking of my grand-dog, Lily.

Approaching the odd doggie park, my heart leapt at the sight of a small collection of cocker spaniel figurines. Their sad, puppy-dog eyes reminded me of my ginger-colored pet named Sweetie Lee.

I lost Sweetie forty-five years ago and had since searched for a proper memorial to place in my gardens. The price on the cocker spaniel was right. I lifted my little Sweetie with no effort and carried her while Maureen and I browsed tables of succulents in the greenhouse.

“Look at the pattern on this urn,” Maureen said, pointing beneath the table where we stood.

The vase, embellished with wine-colored flowers and filled with wet potting soil, appeared to have been abandoned. Again, the price compelled me to purchase the unique treasure. But I couldn’t lift it on my own.

My birthday friend and I selected our succulents and made our purchases, including the rejected vase the clerk emptied for me.

Dear Reader, I placed my Sweetie dog in a garden today to view from my kitchen window. Her sad puppy-dog eyes drew loving tears.

As Maureen and I dined on Lucky’s steak, I recalled my boyfriend who bought Sweetie for me, for she became my confidant during my parents’ divorce.

Thanks to Maureen and The Weed Lady, I found the proper memorial to my beloved and faithful pet.

Contact Iris at