Friday, April 21, 2006

Memory Gardens

I wouldn't call myself an avid gardener, but I do enjoy getting out and working in the beds around our house occasionally. There is something about preparing the way for the beauty of Spring that re-energizes me. Sometimes, if I don't have a lot of time, I'll just mosey around the yard for a few minutes and say hello to everyone and see how they are growing.

It's funny, though. Each bed has its batch of memories that come with it. Looking at the perennial bed in front of our house, I remember when my mom and my wife (then still my girlfriend) played hooky so they could come up and tear up my front lawn. Many of the plants in that bed are divisions from my mom's giant gardens down in Toledo. We laughed a lot that day, as I recall, and tearing up sod never seemed so easy.

The garage-side garden was the first flower bed that I designed. It started out as a very regular two-foot wide plot, planted by some prior resident, that ran the length of the garage. By the time I was done, it had grown considerably and had taken on a much more free-form shape. Now it also houses a large selection of tulips planted in memory of a good friend whom we lost not long ago. We planted the first batch of bulbs on the day on which he passed away and I'm sure a tear or two nourished those blooms.

The bed behind the house is our Japanese garden. The granite pagoda was the result of a day of shopping at Ann Arbor Home and Garden. The dwarf Japanese maple (whom we call "Ace") was the result of a day shopping at Home Depot. It's a serene place. We have a bench pulled up alongside to allow us to sit and rest from our labors. We've spent many a pleasant hour there, planning out our next garden project -- planning our future.

This year, my wife wants to start a moon garden at the back of our property. I expect that there will be memories associated with it, too. The thing is, whether those memories are of joy or sorrow, of hope or disappointment, the garden will transmute those emotions into things of beauty and tranquility. I don't know how, but it always seems to work that way.

What memories have you grown in your garden?


Anonymous said...

Well, our front garden was fixed up by many helpers (you and Lisa included) for our wedding, so I definitely have that memory associated with it! Our sundial was bought the week before our wedding.

Unknown said...

I remember that! Actually, I think I was put in charge of weeding out the grass in the driveway cracks (I know, I get all the glamorous jobs!) and helping Al rebuild the garage door. Still, I have fond memories of all the yardwork we did to prepare for your big day.

Anonymous said...

Mulch, dear. You mulched like the wind!