February 20, 2013

Garden memories

The weather people kept their promise yesterday...they promised COLD and that's what Mother Nature delivered!  This cold streak, coupled with the promise of yet more snow tomorrow has me on a 'wish it was summer and I was in my garden' streak.  I started my garden 'from scratch'--the former homeowners were both blind and had no interest in landscaping, so I inherited a completely blank slate for a yard.  No shrubs, plants or flowers at all!  But with a house full of kids plus a demanding and time-consuming career my garden kind of grew like topsy...no time to truly plan it out.  I knew I wanted mostly perennials so I've had to be patient while plants have established themselves and grown over the past nine years.  But the one thing I did plan right from the beginning was to incorporate some special  memories amidst my plants.

Here are some of the 'memory keepers' currently in my garden:

At one time my dad was passionate about iris, and had over 40 varieties in his own garden.  He was always quick to share when it came time to divide the iris so a number of family members and friends had bulbs they willingly shared with me when it came time to start my garden.  I love knowing that they are descended from the flowers my dad loved so much.  And when it comes down to it, nothing beats the sweet, sweet fragrance of iris in bloom!

Dad's iris, circa 1970.  The mug is perched on top of our family camper, I have no idea why!

one of Dad's 'offspring' !  2012

I have pink simplicity roses lining the perimeter of my garden in memory of my sweet niece, Rosie, who sadly passed away as we were buying this house.  She loved flowers and I think of her so often as I tend my roses.

Invicibelle hydrangea
We lost our beloved shih-tsu, Belle, shortly after my father.  She is buried underneath our lilac bushes, and in her memory we planted a beautiful hydrangea that bears her name and describes her spirit.

One idyllic evening my mother and I had the opportunity to stroll through Queen Mary's Rose Garden at Regent's Park in London.  We came across a beautiful bed of delphiniums and we couldn't believe their beauty and their size.  I now have a giant delphinium that reminds me of that wonderful time with my mom.  It makes me happy every time I look at it.

Mother and I, Quuen Mary's Rose Garden at Regent Park, London 1997

Believe it or not, this is all ONE plant!
I have an armillary!  When my husband and I visited the gardens at Falkland Palace, the favorite castle of Mary Queen of Scots, we turned a corner and came face to face with a gorgeous giant armillary covered in ivy.  I thought it quite lovely and simply had to have one for my own garden.  I can't say I've been too successful with growing ivy around it, but I love it all the same. 
Scanned picture from my photo album, Scotland 2004

My garden armillary surrounded with cheerful coreopsis and daisies
So here is a sneak peek at some of the flowers that make me smile and bring back happy memories as I tend my garden.  It may still be winter outside, but spring can't be too far away. One of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson, loved her gardens and many of her poems are about her garden flowers and her enjoyment of nature. As the snow keeps coming and the winds keep blowing, it's nice to remember that a little 'spring madness' will eventually arrive!

A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown —
Who ponders this tremendous scene —
This whole Experiment of Green —
As if it were his own!

Happy Wednesday!  May your day be filled with warmth and love. 

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