Memory Keepers in Our Gardens

Garden Journal

Barbara: As I was making the rounds in my garden yesterday morning I found I was experiencing it in a very different way. The shift in perception was triggered by a single perfect rose on a plant that my daughter had given me for Mother’s Day some years ago. Brass Band is a lovely melon color with the most gorgeous fragrance — sweet and spicy, just like my Sarah.

This sense memory triggered many others as I walked through the yard. Over in the corner is the first California native I planted that prompted me to discover more about my state’s history, which then opened my eyes to a whole new way of seeing this amazing state, one that is more in tune with my sensibility and has made me appreciate where I live. This in turn has helped me to see opportunity where I thought none had existed.

In my atrium is a plant that I struggle to grow with very little success, but I keep planting tuberous begonias because my Grandfather, who was a terrific gardener, grew them and they are as much a comfort to me as my memory of him is.

Scattered under the trees are the descendants of a yellow cymbidium my Dad gave me. He and my Mom had stayed in Pacific Grove for a few weeks one winter. He missed his Block Island garden so much that he bought himself this one plant to tend and to keep him company while he was away. I inherited it when they returned to the East Coast. They too bring warm feelings whenever I see them.

Then there are the clusters of Mondo grass that my dear friend Carol insisted that I take. They languished in a dark corner for months before I planted them. Their lovely arching green blades make me smile as I pass by.

And so it goes. All throughout the garden the plants are also memories that recall good times and loved ones — the ones that are still with me and the ones that are gone but never forgotten.

What about you? Which plants are the memory keepers in your garden?

2 thoughts on “Memory Keepers in Our Gardens

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  1. I felt I was walking with you since your writing is so beautiful and descriptive. My yard is also filled with sights and sounds of friends and family. And, never more gorgeous is our world because of Gardens by Barbara. xxo

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