Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunday, 11 May 2008 - My mother's garden

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for my mother's garden.

In search of my mother's garden, I found my own. ~Alice Walker

I don't recall my mother ever having her own garden. Rather, she helped my father maintain his. Weeding. Watering. Warning (i.e., reminding us not to play near the plants or trample the lawn).

Sadly, my father never invited my sisters and me to help him garden. Actually, I don't think it ever crossed his mind or, if it did, he didn't want to bother. Of course, we didn't dare ask if we could help. We were girls, after all.

So, my father never invoked the paternal privilege of teaching us how to plant shrubs, prune roses or thin seedlings. He never got to share his horticultural knowledge by explaining the optimal time for planting or fertilizing or watering or harvesting. He just did his thing in his garden, excluding us every step of the way.

So, then, where does my gardening knowledge come from? Clearly, not from a traditional handing down of information, father to daughter. My gardening knowledge comes from direct get-your-hands-dirty experience and a careful distillation of advice from books, friends, online resources and nurseries.

Now, back to my mother's garden. If she had one, I think she would plant a lively cottage garden that bursts each spring with fragrance, color and joy. A garden that attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. A garden that invites daughters to join the fray, welcoming my sisters and me to make a fresh batch of mud pies any time we like.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

For this blessing, I am grateful.


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