Mom would have loved my back yard garden once it had developed after the first few seasons. She would have enjoyed the maturity of the trees and the scattered perennial shrubs. Blue was her favorite color, so the lobelia that I’d dappled here and there to offset the varied pinks and orange hues would have pleased her very much, as it well should since I’d planted it especially with her in mind.
So, too, the Star of Israel blooms that appeared just in time for the Fourth of July every year. It was no coincidence that all of my plants yielded blue flowers. Agapanthus plants, the correct name for the Star of Israel, were indeed survivors; the blossomed “star” bursts of white or blue were used frequently in California as commercial landscaping flora and in highway dividers. They were my kind of plant; nearly indestructible!
I can’t tell you how often over the years I had read “easy to grow” and believed it! Perhaps it was because Mom could always keep things growing, no matter how delicate the plant; she could revive any greenery in her keeping. She had houseplants that were older than some of her grandchildren! Each plant had a story and held a memory of someone or someplace.
On the other hand, delicate looking vines didn’t grow very well under my care. An “easy to grow” clematis struggled for its survival and, much to my chagrin, the vine very soon after planting looked like it needed a transfusion. I decided after a few months’ efforts that it was really begging for mercy, so I dug it up and disposed of it.
One of my favorite sayings among garden prose is the one that reads,
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden
than anywhere else on earth
Nurturing an appreciation for flowers and gardens was one of the pleasures Mom and I shared. Refilling our vessels as we did our favorite vases, His grace seemed to quell our anxious souls on many occasions, allowing us just to be. Within the presence of God’s mixed bouquets, my mother remains joyfully alongside me.