Monday, November 16, 2009

Unconventional gardener

..some might say...not a gardener at all. I used to worry about everything concerning dirt,water,and light. I'm too busy.. enjoying... the garden now in my more mature years. Let it grow where it wants to.
My earliest memory of gardening was my grandpa's garden. His grass was like an emerald green carpet, and the only flowers he grew were marigolds,hollyhocks,four o"clocks and rooster combs...oh did I mention that he planted them in groups....Each flower had a sort of pen...first pen...all marigolds,then rooster combs..all in 3x4 sections. No one else gardened this way. But his garden was magic for me. And he kept a catalpa tree alive,I don't know had a large hole you could see through right in the middle of the trunk. Every year he'd whack it down to an inch of its life. I guess it loved it, because it grew beautifully until... after he died and my grandma stopped whacking it. She didn't take care of the grass or the flowers either. The only flowers she had were the few voluteers that managed to survive.
My next life altering garden was the one in the back of the house my parents bought. I was 5 years old. I can still remember my heart thumping when we walked out back and there was this fabulous wild garden.  As I think of it now, the strong scent of dill fills my brain. Well, when we finally moved in and I thought I had died and went to heaven having this wonderful flower garden...guess what? They cut it down,tore it out...planted all grass(and not the green carpet kind my grandpa grew). I was hearbroken. But what can a little girl do about it....I don't think I even told them how I felt about it.
So I have always been drawn to gardens. they are magical places where magic of the seasons happen. And so much more:
Anticipation of the first crocus,the first rose..the opening of Alsip Nursery
Birdbaths and fountains,abors and trellises
Surprises like mushrooms after a week of heavy rain, moss growing between flagstone
Insects of all kinds, some good, some bad,but all fascinationg to me
Volunteers planted by busy squirrels or droppings by drunken birds who have gorged themselves on my grapehollies
Solomon's seal spreading alongside sweet woodrift (a beautiful sight) and wild geraniums
Day lillies
birds,birds birds
and then there are the Robins
singing crisply at dawn and singing sweetly at dusk
and silly squirrels that never cease to entertain
and oh the drama of the hawks
and visiting owls
and the aromas that fill the air on hot summer evenings, moonflowers
nothing like a garden... I weed a little, prune a little, water enough, deadheading most mornings
it's my piece of earth to let grow and I just step aside
nothing cheers the heart like a blue morning glory or a large happy sunflower
But more than anything it is the habitat that I enjoy most of all where all are welcome, including the hawk
he has to eat too.
I'm glad I took pictures of my garden...they are medicine for the coming cold


  1. Lovely. I was first introduced to gardening and the love of it by my grandmother. In fact I have a post that talks about her. I think it is called The Garden Shed or something like that. I think you would really enjoy reading it. If you can't find it let me know and I will be more specific of the title.

  2. Dogwood,I'll get right on to hear about grandmas


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