Dad was an avid gardener and roses were his specialty. Every spring he’d order new exotic specimens, put them in the ground and tend them like new-born babies. So it’s pretty clear where I got my love of gardening and my love of roses. Mom was a totally different creature when it came to gardening. She loved pink roses, but to my knowledge, never grew a single rose plant.
Mom’s old fashion perennials, sweet peas, wild flowers, weeds and grasses all grew together in wild abandon–like an over grown meadow in full bloom. This penchant for wild gardens showed me a side of Mom not easily discernable. A long buried yearning to be as free as the wild things she grew–a longing to throw off the restrictions of society and just be herself.
I was a pretty wild tomboy growing up and often wondered how Mom managed to put up with me. A lady who never left the house without changing her dress and putting on lipstick–who tried desperately to teach me to be a lady. A woman who never smoked, drank or uttered a curse word and yet, the two of us were close–having a special bond. Although she tried valiantly to teach me proper behavior, I believe she took great pleasure in the fact that I was more like her free flowing wild garden than Dad’s well tended specimens.
When you pull into my drive and step up to the side door leading into my kitchen, there’s a Bleeding Heart bush growing along the foundation, just as there always was at Mom’s. In that same bed you will find hostas, wild daisies I dug up from along a country lane, strawberries, and numerous other plants, both wild and cultivated varieties–all growing in a disorganized, yet somehow, beautiful mess. If Mom were still here, she’d look at that flower garden and say, “That’s my girl.”
Happy Mother’s day to all the mother’s out there and may your gardens and your lives bloom with beautiful abundance.