My Memory Garden

IMG_5091IMG_5097 IMG_5096IMG_5092 IMG_5094 IMG_5093 The blooms are gorgeous. Brilliant reds, oranges, yellows and purples populate the garden. For someone who knows next to nothing about gardening, it is a recurring summer miracle to watch the perennials grow and burst into color. It lifts my spirits each time I walk up the front steps and take it all in.

With time, the plants have grown and now compete for space, trying to crowd out nearby blossoms vying for attention. I have learned how to sow the seeds in the fall to spread the plants, thereby contributing to the confusion of color and congestion. But I love it that way. The more the merrier.

In a yard that’s left “natural” with long waving grasses and otherwise filled with trees, the garden can’t help but be a focal point. It’s the only spot in the yard we have cultivated.  It’s special.  In more ways than one.

It’s memory that brought this garden about. When my mother lost hers to Alzheimer’s, one of her loving caregivers gardened her back yard into a symphony of color. It was a delight to Mom, who loved both flowers and bright colors. It was a constant in her diminishing ability to understand. Flowers were still flowers, and a never ending source of joy to her.

So when we built our house, the first person we turned to for developing our garden was Mary Jane, the caregiver. She brought all her gardening skills to bear on the project, and left us with a beauty reminiscent of Mom’s back yard. She has become the caregiver of memories for me. Preserving a piece of Mom along with beautifying our front steps.

I know Mom would love our garden. I think of her whenever I look at the flowers.  I smile at the brilliant colors. And my heart is filled with warm memories.

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