Summer has definitely arrived. Our yard is overwhelmed with color which brings fond memories of my grandma and her yard. She lived two doors away from our home for many years while I was growing up. Her yard was always the most beautiful in the neighborhood, probably in the entire county.
Everyone knows that Queen Anne’s Lace is a ‘roadside weed’. Not to my grandma. They were nature’s way of tatting doilies and when I could find one or several with the tiny royal red blossom in the center, I was delighted. One of my daughters, who understood my love of these beautiful and intricate flowers, pressed one for me and mailed it to me from where she lived in Toronto, Ontario for a time. It was a loving gesture for a mom who missed her daughter.
Grandma had a green thumb to be sure but the magic was in her love and care for plants. Each spring I would help her plant sweet peas along the edge of the chicken yard so the vines could crawl up the chicken wire and bring beauty to a drab area of the yard.
She grew dahlias and roses and nasturtiums. She filled her yard with azaleas and rhododendrons and camillias so that the lawn couldn’t be mowed as all the other neighbors’ lawns were done. Each plant, shrub and tree had to be mowed around with care so as not to nick the bark of the trunk. All the plants were robust and showy and grandma’s evenings were spent sitting in her lawn chair with hose in hand. The nozzle she had attached to the end of the hose would shoot water to the thirsty plants at least 20 feet away. I felt important when she allowed me to quench the thirst of the plants and taught me about their care.
It was a bewitching time of the day when twilight put the sun to bed and hung the stars out. When the yard was completely cared for she would head indoors and I would follow, especially if I knew she had made homemade donuts that day. I would eat a donut or two with a glass of milk and at her little kitchen table I learned how to play solitaire.
My love of plants and flowers have been fastened to my heart , in great part, because of my grandma. Do your children and grandchildren know why you have a love for certain things? Include these kinds of stories in your history. Our lives are rich because of grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles and cousins. Share in your history what makes each one unique and what they have passed on to you. We can’t afford to lose what we have gained from our progenitors.