Monday, June 7, 2021

Rambling Through a Garden of Memory


I have only one hollyhock this year but it makes me very happy. I always wanted a row of them--against, perhaps a white picket fence but that's not happening. Neither are the masses of delphiniums I once coveted and tried to grow but failed. I walk around and see the ghosts of those garden dreams.


Many years ago I had a bed of fancy roses--but the spraying that seemed necessary to keep them alive and blooming was too much. I do have this fine little red rose--a gift from a neighbor back in '76. She rooted it from her own shrub--put a cutting in the ground and covered it with a Ball quart jar. Forty-five years later, it's still going strong.

Another survivor that makes me happy is this perennial Bachelor's Button.  Therese in France featured one on her blog maybe ten years ago and I was enraptured with the gorgeous cobalt blue and lavender bloom. I acquired a plant soon after and every year at this time, it makes me think of my blog friend in Toulouse.

Everywhere I look, there are ghosts and memories--the tidy Japanese influenced plantings around the goldfish pool that have renounced their dwarf evergreen status and are striving for wilderness designation, the Angel Wing Begonias my grandmother gave me when we moved from Tampa, the lilac that was a gift from a departed friend, the orchid cacti from a tenant about twenty years ago, the Weeping Willow and the River Birch that were skinny sticks when I planted them  . . .

You can grow a lot of memories in almost half a century.



 

9 comments:

Barbara R. said...

Yes, and your own roots on that land are strong and deep also!

Sandra Parshall said...

I always enjoy seeing your plants. You have a lovely setting for growing memories.

Marcia said...

Gardens do change over time and to keep themas planned requires so much tending. I cant believe I'm starting over again! The white iris are planted in what is a temporary spot. I've done that with daylilies my daughter brought from her Buffalo garden and Siberian iris a friend of hers brought when she visited here last week to see Sarah. So much of my perennial garden planning and planting is on hold as we await the tree and landscape company we contracted with in early January to remove trees and overgrowth. It's very frustrating not to have phone calls and emails responded to. I just want to know where we are in their queue.

I finished your book. It was such a tragic tale. The different voices was the perfect way to tell it, too. I must figure out how to write a review for you on Amazon very soon. One question who was Pearl Massey mentioned in your dedication?

katy gilmore said...

I loved reading about these garden ghosts!

Anvilcloud said...

Our little front garden has changed a lot in less than 15 years. As the tree in the centre grew and cast more shade, some plants didn't survive, and we are turning more to hostas.

Janet Morrison said...

I love that red hollyhock! Your post today really hits home with me. I have visions of beautiful flower beds in my head, but the reality to quite different. I should just appreciate each flower and it's history (such as the peonies that belonged to my grandmother who died in 1946 -- and they're still going strong) and not worry about the flower bulbs the squirrels dug up or the blackeyed Susan leaves the rabbit ate as soon as they sprouted. Every flower is a gift.

Pennelainer said...

I adore Hollyhocks,but have not been successful in growing them. We must have seen some of the same old illustrations of rows of them growing against a wall or a fence. Your red one is just enchanting. Now I want Bachelor’s Buttons! Thank you for sharing!

Vicki Lane said...

The dedication was to Pearl Massey's daughter--a local fan who had probably heard me mention at a library event that I was working on a book about the Massacre. Some years later, she came up to e in the grocery store parking lot and told me I needed to finish the book while she could still see to read. That stuck with me and encouraged me to finish the dratted thing. I wanted to dedicate it to her but couldn't remember her name. I did remember she said she was Pearl Massey's daughter. (I've since learned her name is Pam Cooper.)

Thérèse said...

Personally I think that a garden is nothing if it brings not the memories that each plant wants you to hold. And going through your garden through the years and through your pictures and stories brings me a lot of joy.