I spread the “Basket of Roses” quilt on the little table on the terrace, set the cup of mint tea on top and sat looking out into the orchard. I needed to plant some roses. The terrace was simple and bare with just an inch deep sheet of pea gravel that was suppose to keep the weeds down. Well it wasn’t working. Some of the weeds were three feet high and would surely become trees if I didn’t do something soon. I love gardens. I think I inherited the love and enjoyment from Mom. She was always out in the garden, even in her later years. I helped Dad plant petunias and impatiens, watered the tomatoes and strawberries. But roses were a favorite.
My first rose was from a boy down the street. I don’t know who’s garden he picked it from, but I loved that deep coral miniature rose, all four inches of it. I would have to find one and plant in my garden.
My dad’s favorite was always the Peace rose. It has large full blossoms of creamy white with touches of yellow and pink. In his later years he also enjoyed the Chicago Peace which had darker tones of pink. I always planted one of those wherever I moved.
America, a salmon colored climber had grown outside my bedroom window. I think this was my mom’s favorite rose. No other rose I had flowered for so long or grew to greater heights. I need one of those.
I planted an apricot tea rose under the bathroom window in my last house. It was the color of the roses we got for Mom’s funeral with purple iris…
A black eared squirrel ran along the roof line, eyed the Juniper bush at the corner of the house and dived in. The bush trembled, was silent, and trembled again at the assault. Tipsily the squirrel crawled out and staggered off into the orchard. I wonder if he thought that he could fly?
I took a sip of my mint tea as I returned to contemplating plans for my garden. I wonder if Lara is having a cup of tea this evening. We decided to share a cup every once in awhile even though we are a world apart. I hope she has found a beautiful oriental garden to explore. Humm, I think I’ll plant oriental poppies.
Down by the creek I could hear a thrashing sound. I stood and looked through the orchard trying to identify the intruder. Soon I saw Bucky trotting through the field ahead of the neighbor’s old hound. The burro down the street was always getting out and running down to the water. He’d stare at the fish in confusion. I don’t know what he was thinking. Were they edible? Can I walk across? Shrugging he’d take a drink , nibble ditch grass for lunch, and spend a pleasant hour flicking flies in the shade till ol’ hound came to chase him home.
I saw a flicker of movement out of the corner of my eye. A family of rabbits hopped along the edge of the irrigation ditch. Momma rabbit was sneaking her family towards the garden, looking for something tender to eat. I had a surprise for her this year as I hadn’t planted anything yet. Next year I’d be the surprised one. It’s a good thing rabbits don’t climb trees. I wonder if rabbits eat apples?
A shadow passed overhead. Looking up I saw a red tail hawk hunting for his own dinner. Momma rabbit saw him too and hustled her little family into the deep ditch grass, which hadn’t been mowed yet. I could almost hear her whisper,”don’t move, shhh”. I held my breath till the hawk moved on towards the river and a more visible
I took a sip of my cooling tea. I have moved forward, left behind tender feelings for the friends I made as I moved around the world. Some have remained in contact. Others have not. I would love to know where Susi is, and Pauline. How are Judy’s kids and Pats? I need Nasturtiums for my California friend’s remembrances. I don’t think the ‘Naked Ladies’ or Bird of Paradise will grow here in the high desert. I can grow geraniums for Carol, Picasso petunias for Debbie. I need an Azalea for Virginia. No I need a chocolate plant for Virginia…. Chocolate lace, chocolate candy geranium,
Maybe I could plant Heuchera ‘Chocolate Ruffles’. Where can I find these? They would grow in our freeze zone and parched conditions but….
The day is cooling as the evening approaches. I’ll need my sweater soon. I sit thinking of Isabella. My ghost hasn’t been here for a while. But then neither have I.
I wonder what Isabella planted in her garden, Sage? Thyme? Rosemary? Sunflowers?
A garden is a wonderful thing to grow to remember old friends. What shall I plant in my memory garden for you, Old Friend?