Nick was way ahead of me. He was born a gardener, or at least began gardening at an early age. He helped his grandmother, a tough German woman who grew flowers at the home Nick and his two older brothers, mother, and grandmother lived in. Nick’s father died when he was five.
His real gardening began at Benjamin Granklin Elementary, in Cleveland. Each child, from kindergarten, on, had a little plot of ground to plant things in. The younger kids had smaller plots and only grew a few things, but as the children moved along in grades, they received larger plots. During the summer, the kids would walk to the school garden and tend their plants.
From the time we were married and had our first house, Nick gardened. At our first house, he converted a goldfish pond to a garden. We had small children, so we filled in the little pond. We have a photo that I have given to our son, that shows him, about age three, pulling a wagon with vegetables in it.
The garden expanded with our next house, and at our third house, the hose we lived in for thirty years, prior to moving here, Nick had a huge garden filled with vegetables, flowers and rows of sunflowers. People walking in the park behind out house would stop and look at it.
I grew roses in the big garden, until they became too much of a pain, and then I made my own cottage garden on the side of the house. Nick helped me a lot.
My dad gardens a bit. A swimming pool toook up most of the yard, so his gardenin space was limited. He grew zucchini, which I thought was disgusting. I hadn’t tried it, but the name was weird. I love it, now. He grew lovely roses and would pick bouquets and deliver them to shut-ins from his church.
When my dad was old and in a wheelchair, I would bring him to our house, wheelhim eo the back, and hand him the hose. He loved watering the garden. Once day, he told my that my roses were more beautiful than his.
When we moved from Ohio, gardening was in our past. Nick had filled in his big garden with grass. Parkinson’s had taken away his stamina and some of his strength. I didn’t think I would garden because you sweat and I don’t like snakes.
Perhaps the twentieth wonder of the world is that I began gardening, in earnest. As Nick’s strength and stamina continued to lesson his ability to do such work, I chose to try to create a bit of a refuge in our own yard, as home became the place Nick was most comfortable.
This is called a Trial and Error garden. South Carolina isn’t Ohio. Both have clay. Down here it is red. Hard. Great if you want to make red clay pots.
When we moved to this house, which has a agreenspace behind it, that isn’t maintained by the HOA, Nick thought wildflowers would look nice back there.
And that is how this all started.
From wildflowers, grew my vision of a wildflower, perennial, shru, and gras garden.
Inside our fence, I decided to switch to mostly perennials.
What a job, but what a joy.
I have had to study a lot, go to YouTube, read, and ask questions. I am learning that like people, plants die, sometimes before there time. It is nature.
This is my creative project. It is my art, my writing, my job.
Nick helps when he can. He planted a few perennials, waters,and hauls pee gravel and this week, he spread some. That is hard for him, but good. I love seeing him in the garden or talking ‘garden talk’ with him.
This is going to be a work-in-progress. It probably will never be totally done. There will be plant births, deaths, birthdays, graduations and some that are put into time-out.
Nature will win. I watch weather radar like a begonia. I water in spite of the cost. And we feed the birds and watch butterflies and dragonflies and squirrels and little green lizards, enjoy the bounty.
I work slowly. I sweat. I get weary bones. But each morning when I get up, thegarden calls me. It sings a song of grace and glory. I gives me more than I can give it. When I look closely at the blooms, the intracies of their design, everyything in the world goes away. All I see is God. Hope. Joy.
I wish I would have gotten into gardening earlier. But that wsn’t the design of my life. Maybe it has come to me, now, when there are times that I feel life waning. Tick Tock.
Now, I have to go haul more pea gravel.