A Garden full of Memories
A For Sale sign is in front of my house. It’s time to move closer to family, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. I’ve lived in my big one-hundred and ten year old house for over thirty years. I love it and wish I could load it up and take it with me, but the hardest part of moving will be leaving my garden. It is filled with memories of friends, some that have passed away, some that our seasons together have ended and some that are as fresh as a spring day. There are purple violets throughout my flower borders and scattered in the yard. They came from Peggy. She went out of her way to be kind to me when I first moved into the village and was so homesick. A sweet smelling pink peony is from Kristi, a co-worker and friend from years back. We were both going to college at night and had a good-natured competition going for those elusive 4.0 grades. We’re friends on Facebook but the last time I saw her was at the doctor’s office at least two years ago. A bunch of salmon hyacinths, some of the first flowers to bloom in my garden, were an Easter gift from Mary. She’ll be 90 this summer. I keep meaning to stop by and see her, but I don’t. The blue Rose of Sharon was burglarized from Ella Sharp Park. A seedling was growing next to the parent bush. I gently pulled it from the ground, wrapped the roots in a wet paper towel and was surprised that it survived the transplant. Now it has tons of babies every year. The first time I saw a blue Rose of Sharon was in Ludington. Now the bush brings back memories of sandy Lake Michigan beaches and my short life of crime. A climbing red rose, blue columbine and a lilac were gifts from Tom. He was my guardian angel and my chemo buddy. The intensity and intimacy of cancer was too much and he moved on. Rhubarb came from my boss, Michael. He was strict but fair. When he retired I knew it wouldn’t be long and I would leave the company too. The business wasn’t the same after he left. I remember my mom telling me about the bluebells covering the hillsides of her childhood home in southern England. I’m sure the ones in my garden are a more hardy variety to be able to survive the harsh Michigan winters. I planted them for her as a surprise one year and they’ve continued to bloom ever since. An old-fashioned bleeding heart is tucked into a shady corner. It flowers most every spring by Mother’s Day. There was one in mom’s garden at our house outside Corunna. I wish we’d had more time together. Then there are the Shasta daisies just for me. Their yellow centers and white petals are bright and cheerful. I’d rather have a bouquet of daisies than roses any day. I’ll leave behind a garden filled with stories and memories, but I look forward to creating another. My new garden will be a blank canvas and I’m excited to see what beauty it will hold.