"People from a planet without flowers
would think we must be mad with joy the whole time
to have such things about us."
~Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My heat loving, chicken dusting garden; reborn

I think of Squeeky, in her next life as a chichen hawk, and it makes me laugh. Maybe she will be there to defend my garden from her nemeses hens. In the meantime, I have replanted and mulched. Of course, the hens will not be out and about for a while. I want to enjoy the garden a bit . I think I will need a fence around this area. It's the one place that they head for every time.
This is the Hollyhocks second year. Look at the color of this one. It's so yummy you want to taste it. Sherbet anyone?
...., and this one; the Gerbera or Transvaal Daisy. This is a beautiful perennial for hot climates. It's native to South Africa. What color!! This one should be called rainbow sherbet. Don't you just want one bite?
When I was young I had little interest in gardening. My mother was the gardener in our family. She knew all the plants and their latin names. She nurtured everything; the garden, me, my sister, baby birds , stray cats and lost dogs. It was her nature and I reveled in the fact that I was a part of all this love and care. We took hot water to the birdbath,in winter to thaw the frozen water so the birds could drink and bathe. We kept a baby bird in a shoebox and fed it with a medicine dropper until it was strong enough to fly away. We let big garden spiders make their huge webs in the garden because mom said they were "good luck" and they caught lots of bad bugs. But when it came to the garden I would let Mom do the planting. I guess playing with friends had priority. The garden was always beautiful and there for us to enjoy. Dad took care of the lawn ,and some prunning, but Mom did the rest. I think, now, that all the care that was given to that garden was like the care that she gave us. It came with great love. So, it found a place deep inside of me and stayed there for many years.
Then something happened a few years ago. I started to remember the names of things. I could even remember the"diabrotica". That's probably not how it's spelled but it's phonetically close. The diabrotica was a bad little lady bug. Instead of being red with black spots, it was green with black spots and ate plants instead of other bugs. I started remembering names like Escallonia, Lonicera japonica (honeysuckle) and Aquilegia (the lovely farie in the shade; the Columbine). Beautiful names. Names that make poetry when you say them. Buddleia davidii....., and one of Mom's favorites that still climbs on our old patio that Dad built in 1951......, Campsis radicans, the lovely Trumpet Vine. I look at these names and I remember my childhood. I may not remember the names to tell you, in a conversation, but they are familiar sounds from my childhood, and some are in my garden now. It was a gift from my mother that I didn't open until I was a middle aged woman. What a lovely surprise to find that when your life is built on a good foundation, like a garden with good soil, it can produce a bounty of wonderful memories.
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3 comments:

John said...

Beautiful garden!

Jo said...

Your garden is beautiful. I especially love your holly hock. What a fabulous flower. I tried growing them once, but didn't have any luck with them. I think I may try again.

Thank you for such a touching post. Seems as if every post I have read this morning has served to lift my spirits.

Barbee' said...

Lovely post. I understand about the Latin names; they are like poetry to me, too. Beautiful sounds.