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The Flower Garden Part Four

posted 3/7/2011 10:03:04 PM |
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We lived out in the country and our road wasn’t well traveled but I knew a lot of times when someone new was coming through because of that sound. I would look and they would be creeping along in the car with faces pressed to the windows or hanging out taking it all in.

My eldest nephew and a couple of his friends came from Montana to visit the summer he turned 18. The first thing he said to me as he got out of the car was “WOW mom said you had a great garden but I had no idea it was that big ~ it’s awesome !!” My kids (and by “my kids” I mean all of them not just the ones I carried inside me) were all close to his same age ~ some a little older some a little younger ~ but I will never forget what happened that first evening they were there. My nephew and his friends had never seen fireflies before because they don’t have them in Montana and when they started coming out my nephew and his friends were fascinated. ALL of them, my kids, a few of my kids’ friends, my nephew and his friends all ended up with jars and lids. Shouts and yells and laughter and music floating across the darkness, mixing with the scent of roses and honeysuckle, chasing fireflies through the Garden and yard. They spent virtually all of that evening chasing fireflies, bringing them to JB and I to show us and each other and comparing how many each one of them had. It was a sight and sound I will remember forever. That was one of many happy evenings we spent there while the kids and the Garden were growing up.

The kids left one by one to start their own lives. They came back often and we almost always spent time in the Garden if the weather permitted. It was just natural for all of us to gather there. We had spent so much time in that Garden together. We would sit at the table by the Maple and visit. We would walk through it and talk. It kept us out of the house and from possibly waking JB. As his fibromyalgia progressed and got worse he was able to help less and less. It was just too painful for him and I couldn’t bear to watch that. If he wasn’t working he was usually sleeping so the Garden was the place we all gathered for all of those reasons. The boys would stop by and ask if I needed anything done and more often than not I had something for them to do. Dig holes for new plants, spread mulch, new gravel for the pathways and the patio area. New areas to work up and till to extend it more. I planted more flowers and shrubs and vines each year. And the Garden grew.

My first two grandkids came along and they began to spend time in that Garden. My daughter would bring them by almost daily. They got dirty in it, they played with their trucks and toys in it, they tried to eat worms in it and they picked flowers in it. They both learned to how to climb a tree in that Maple by the edge of it and played in the fountain. They chased frogs and bugs and lizards and each other in it. They played hide and seek and tag in it. They learned the fun of rolling or somersaulting down the hill on the back side of it in the summer and the fun of sliding down it on a toboggan in the winter. They loved the little pool on the other side of the Maple. One of them was fascinated with the flowers. As soon as he could walk, each and every time he came to see us, he would lead me or JB, if he was there and awake and had the energy to, around by the hand to smell them all. He could never seem to get enough of it. The other one loved the vegetable garden. He couldn’t get enough of the wild tomatillos that I let grow wherever they popped up. When he discovered he could eat what was in that garden we had to watch him constantly at first until he learned that was the only garden he could eat out of. When they got a little older I let each of them have their own little garden spots in both the Flower and vegetable gardens. They were both thrilled and almost as excited as I was that very first day when it got plowed when it came time for them to plant their own little sections. And the Garden grew some more.

In a lot of ways I raised my kids in that Garden. I spent a lot of time there with JB. I made friends out of total strangers and became closer friends with old friends in that Garden. I spent time with my parents and my two sisters, their husbands and their kids and JB’s family there. I shared love and laughter and tears and disappointments and joy and hope there. I saw some dreams come true there and some die there. I taught my kids things there and they taught me things there. That Garden played a significant role in my life and the lives of my kids.

I lost the Flower Garden about 8 years ago. I miss that Garden. I miss it badly even after this long but I know that one day there will be another Garden. It is not a dream that I will give up so lightly. I have driven by a couple of times since then but after the second time I no longer had the heart. The people who bought it had stripped the small woods that were behind the house. It no longer exists. They have torn out a lot of the flowers and shrubs and the entire original first garden is once again grass. They didn’t want to take care of it all. I understand that. It is a lot of work but I honestly wish in my heart it had gone to someone who would have loved it as I did. I have a small part of it here where I am and I will again one day, have not just a garden, but a Flower Garden.

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   read more blogs!

Blogs by lilofval:
A little sense of wonder
The Best of March
Things that shouldn't be ...
Musings from the Back Yard
The Flower Garden Part Four
The Flower Garden Part Three
The Flower Garden Part Two
The Flower Garden Part One
Pink's Move
I'm Curious ....
Happy Birthday !!
Buying an Island
Are you ready ???
A Mixed Up Southern Fairy Tale


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Mar 7 @ 10:04PM  
That Garden taught and gave me a lot of things. Solace, meditation time and healing. Connections with my children and others. And so many more things that I cannot name. Life changes and things in that life change but that’s not to say that it’s bad. It’s just different. You can look at those changes as something that knocks you backwards or as something that provides an opportunity to start anew. I choose the latter.

Here is a link to some of the photos. They are most of them over 10 years old so some are blurry, some are a little shiny and some just aren't that good. But they will give you an idea of it.

The Flower Garden

Mar 7 @ 10:45PM  
That is one helluva flower garden you got!! It's very beautiful and looks like a great place to "get lost" in.

Mar 8 @ 1:18AM  
Very nice story and love the flowers. Loved the way it looks natural instead of formal.

Mar 8 @ 1:57PM  
How beautiful, both the garden and the memories.

Mar 8 @ 7:39PM  
Wow Lil,
Great story and so heary warming! The photo's were great also,enjoyed each and every one. You should be prowd of the garden as I'm sure you are of it and your loving famly!
Thanks again for a great look into your heart, a green thing comming your way!

Mar 9 @ 10:02PM  
Kudos Ms. Lil for such a touching story. I love kids and gardens. They just seem to go together don't they? My mom had a huge flower garden when I was a kid...and I remember spending lots of time in it when I was growing up. Thanks for sharing such a lovely story with us.

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The Flower Garden Part Four