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The Legacy of My Mom's Green Thumb

Updated on April 15, 2018

It all comes back, every spring and summer. And I drink in the memory of my mother and her love of gardening.

Every year around this time, I begin itching to get outside in my garden. This time of year always reminds me of my Mom and the gift of loving the earth that she gave me.

When I was a little girl, spring into summer revolved around planting, greenhouse visits, pruning the pear tree in our backyard and waiting for the mass of Paul Scarlett roses to bloom and tumble over the big driveway wall.

Early June meant bouquets of peonies from Mom's garden tucked here and there in vases around the house. I can still smell their perfume and imagine a stray ant escaping a bloom and hopefully the slap of my mother's hand. Growing peony bushes has eluded me all of these years. I am not sure why. Maybe because they need a lot of sun and I have limited sun areas in my garden. But I think that I am going to have to buy at least one bush, plant it, nurture it, watch it grow and smell that delicious aroma once again.

I took it all for granted. But absorbed all of it without realizing how much a part of my life this love of nature would someday be.

There was always a pan with Lipton tea bags hanging from underneath a saucer brewing the old fashioned way, sitting on the stove. Later, after dinner was over and the sun was down and the air was a bit cooler, Mom and Dad would sit outside with tall glasses of iced tea. I think they would just sit there and look around and take in all the beauty of their hard work.

I know the feeling.

When I think of them like this, they are timestamped in my memory just the way they were way back in the 1950's. I choose to remember them the way they were, young, happy, loving life and each other.

The simple beauty of a flower, the spicy scent of lavender (my favorite) and the tranquility of a summer morning are hard to beat when all around us is chaos. Nothing calms me more than sitting on my garden bench and drinking in the sweet aroma of lilacs.

This is the time of year I miss my Mom the most. And I would bet that if I could ask her, she would say that she was always happiest amongst her plants and roses and flowers, digging and planning a new garden with my Dad.

I like to think that she's somewhere smiling proudly down on her only child who is remembering and grateful and carrying on the tradition.

My First Communion next to Mom's peony bushes.


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