Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Most days, as long as the weather permitted, my mom loved to spend as much time as she could in her garden which was located at the far end of our yard. If you didn’t find her inside the house completing typical daily chores, you would most likely find her in the garden pruning her flowers and pulling those stubborn weeds. She never minded the sun on her back or the wind in her face. Connecting with nature in her garden was a passion worth the exposure for her.
Everyday around 7 in the morning, right after she finished making breakfast for us kids, she would go to her garden to attend to her flowers. Roses, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, geraniums, daisies, orchids and others; she had them all. Sometimes you could hear her talking to them like she would to a real person. She would often mention to me when the wind was blowing and her flowers would sway she felt they were communicating with her. She certainly felt in tune with them and paid attention to every growth and change pattern.
What I liked most about her garden was its vibrant smell; the fresh perfume smell that all the flowers released when in bloom. During summer, when the day is its longest and the sky is magnificently clear, you can see all the colors of the flowers complement each other with the strong light from the sun. The combination of a rainbow of colors and a variety of such wonderful perfumes that made you feel relaxed and happy. The appearance of the garden was also entrancing because it was so artistically designed it caused you to stare at it for long periods of time carrying your thoughts to wishful places.
I remember her making sure each season that the flowers for that season were prevalent in her garden. She would care for them meticulously and they were the most beautiful among all gardens in our neighborhood. Each season she would plant each variety with eagerness and it paid off. She labored endlessly until the planting was perfect. She told me that gardening relieved her stress and made her days lighter regardless of what else the day brought to her. That was fine with us kids because as long as she was able to keep up her garden she was happy and content with all that we did.
I didn’t mind her devotion to her garden because as a little girl I loved flowers. As the flowers became too abundant in the garden that’s when she would start cutting them (or as I would say as a little girl, picking them). Most ended up in the house in all of our rooms, and some were given to the local church or relatives. When there were special events in our family they always came to my mother to request flowers. She was known for her arrangements and felt a great pride and need in the family because of this. We have many pictures of her with the arrangements. When you see all the pictures together they tell a story of her life.
Now as an adult when I want to feel positive and relaxed, I sometimes go to a corner in my mind where it places me in her garden. Whether sitting or walking around her flowers, or remembering the perfume smells I enjoy myself in the lovely memories.