15 May 2012

My Mother In My Garden

I spent a good chunk of time in the garden on Sunday. I had flowers to pot up for the front steps, and plants gotten at the garden club sale to put in the ground. There was a bleeding heart that was eating a corner of the perennial bed, a bleeding heart so big it had collapsed of its own sheer exuberance (abetted by a heavy rain). Even though it was still kind of in full bloom, I heartlessly dug it up and divided it in half. Here's hoping it survives. I impaled myself trying to prune the flowering quince, getting intractable thorns stuck in both hands. By the time I was done, I was filthy and sore, and oh so very pleased with myself.

It's impossible for me to work in the garden without thinking of my mother. Hers was her joy. A chore, to be sure, but a joy. She was ever shuffling hosta; I do the same. Her plants are scattered through my yard - hosta, astilbe, sedum - and solomon's seal running up along the front steps.



The sign was hers, bought in France, brought home and mounted on a bit of plywood. It faded terribly, its white letters all chalked off a few years after she got it. But she loved it so, and so painstakingly repainted all the little letters. You can't tell from a distance, but up close? It bears her brushmarks. And I think that's a bit of her standard issue hosta in the lower right hand corner.



It amuses me no end to have her sign living in my own garden. Little children are particularly perplexed, because (as yet) none of them speak French. If you come visit, you're not allowed pick the mushrooms (we've only toadstools), but I might send you home with a piece of hosta.


11 comments:

Ilina said...

Lovely!

Life in Eden said...

I think your mother in your garden is one of the things that got me reading your blog in the first place. My mother and our neighbor were big gardeners when I was little. Sadly, her interest faded with her age, and now that I have my (hopefully) permanent home, there is nothing left of her garden -- except the knowledge I gained.

Glad you had a good gardening weekend and fond thoughts.

readersguide said...

I love this --

My mother doesn't garden, but I do, and I hope that some day my kids will pilfer things from my garden to take to their own.

Janet said...

love the sign :-)

RuthWells said...

Do not fear for the bleeding heart - they are impossible to kill. And, having foraged for mushrooms in France as a kid, I love the sign!

De said...

Get this: my mother actually offered me some plants!!
She's never trusted me with them before, but I think she thinks this is her last summer in that house.

One of these days, I'll show up to claim a piece of your Moky's hosta.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I love the enthusiasm of gardeners. I am a planter myself and I know there is a difference.

leanne said...

My Mother's Day tradition is to go to the garden store and pick up some annuals (I haven't gotten confident enough to pick out perennials), vegetable seeds, and vegetable plants so that I can spend the day with my kids in our gardens. I look forward to it every year.

Jocelyn said...

I would totally take a hosta split, any year...and attempt to make off with that awesome sign.

Nan | Wrath Of Mom said...

I refer to my first foray into the my garden each spring as The Great Hosta Shuffle. I'm constantly moving and dividing.

I love your mom's sign. That's a lovely memory.

Mayberry said...

Love the sign! I remember my mother telling me about attending a "hosta hacking" party. Sounds ... cathartic.