I was born to be a gardener.
My mother made sure of that. First she married my father who’s last name was Gardner. Then she planned our home so that wherever we lived our yard was filled with flowers. Some always made their way into the house one way or the other. She used to tell us that, “You’re closer to God in a garden than any place else on earth.”
I remember sitting with my sister on the front porch at my first home, waiting for the mailman. Big hydrangeas, and red Hollyhocks peeked over our shoulders, waiting too.
In my second home we had scrub oak and juniper bushes in the back yard by our swing. We would try to swing high enough to touch our toes to the oak leaves and rustle the purple berries. The front yard was filled with daisies and sweet peas under the porch roof. The small grass covered hill was our playground as we rolled down in the green summer grass and sled in the winter snow. A stand of Aspens gave us a golden carpet to rake and play in as autumn turned to winter with chilly nights and crystal stars watching over us.
Our third home had the most beautiful garden. Dad went down into the canyon behind our house and brought large stones into the back yard making a second terrace lower on the hill beneath the one already there. He made cement stepping-stones so we could walk through the second terrace filled with petunias, pansies and lilacs. At the bottom of the yard were raspberries and roses. Scarlet runner beans ran along the fence adding a touch of bright color and a stern warning not to touch. We never did. Silver lace vines climbed up the back porch to the second story roof. My sister and I used to climb out the bathroom window and sit hidden behind the vines, spying on whoever dared to enter our yard and the boys next door.
As we grew to be teenagers and the older boys left home we moved to a smaller yard filled with petunias and roses. Giant dinner plate dahlias and gladiolas grew under the bedroom window. A nursery in the state sold my mom a redwood tree to try to grow in the mountains of New Mexico. He didn’t think it would grow, but he didn’t know my mom. A few years ago the towering tree was hit by lightening and had to be cut down. It was a sad day for my dad, a reminder of mom, now both gone.
My mom always told us that plants produce oxygen and cool the atmosphere. It’s our responsibility to provide for our neighbors. I’ve taken that challenge and have planted seventy planters on my roof top garden. Breathe well neighbor.
In my garden grow many flowers.