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My Blog

My Grandma's Garden

Good morning to all my friends out there.  It seems to be quite a nice day outdoors, I am hoping to get a little done in the garden.  A few last pieces that need to get planted.  The garden is such a peaceful place to be. I have loved the garden ever since I was a child.  That is why I chose Gardens to write about today.
It has been one of the most amazing years for roses that I have ever seen in years.  Everywhere I seem to drive the roses are absolutely gorgeous!  I have noticed one home in a nearby town, called Park Ridge where they have an archway over their front door and it was filled with a climbing white  rose bush all the way over the arch.  What a way to walk in or out of your house.  It looks like something out of a picture book. When I see roses, I cannot help but think of an Aunt of mine.  she loved roses and had her entire one side of her garden with every type of rose plant you could imagine.  I recently noticed that they have a rose bush called Honey rose.  My Aunts name was Frances, but I called her Aunt Honey.  I need to find one at the nursery and plant it in her honor...she passed away 1 1/2 years ago.   I must make an attempt to get to the Botanical Gardens soon to view their rose garden.  It must be spectacular there. 
When I was a young girl, I lived with my Grandmother and her garden was her pride and joy.  She spent countless hours in the garden.  She had flowers of every type there.  From roses to dahlias, to daisies.  She had hostas down the gangway with the stalks of flowers that sprang out of the greenery.  The looked like little oval balloons before they blossomed and I would walk through the gangway and look for the ones that were just ready to bloom and pinch them.  They would make this popping sound,  I still do it when I see that flower today.  Such a simple joy. 
When people say that someone has a green thumb...they had to have been referring to my grandmother.  There was nothing that she couldn't grow.  People came from all over to enjoy her garden.  That was way before  I had ever heard of garden walks and such.  
Now as the years went by, grandma's arthritis had gotten worse and it became more difficult for her to kneel in the garden, That was way before the day of kneeling pads and little gardening seats.  She would just take an old pillow and stuff it in a brown paper bag and kneel on that.  Seemed as though there would be nothing to stop her from her daily chore.
Each day, after breakfast you would see her out there in the garden wearing a simple housedress...she called it a mickey mouse.  I have no idea where that came from.  Whether that was a made up name for the dress or was a regional word, but that is what we called it.  I bought many of them through the year at the nearby department store as gifts for her and they always knew what I was talking about. It was just a simple cotton, straight lined dress with a rounded yoke, oftentimes had rickrack around the neckline and great big pockets on both sides.   These pockets were so large Grandma could carry almost anything in them, including her garden glove and shovels and weed picker.   
She would be out in the garden half of the day.   She always began early in the morning and once noon rolled around she was pretty much done and went in to do her daily baking and chores.
Now one morning when I was sitting at the breakfast table eating my pancakes, Grandma sat down in her rocking chair which sat in the kitchen right between the kitchen table and the stove and proceeded to tell me about the dream she had the night before.  She said that an angel had come to her in her dream and took her for a walk in the neighborhood.  She said it wasn't very far...just a couple of blocks away from our home.  She said that  the angel had pointed out a flower growing in the front garden of a house.  She told her that the plant had been put there for her to find.  That it was a very special plant and she should go there and find it and bring it home.  I just sat and listened to Grandma's story.  I was waiting for the moral or the purpose at the end, but this one didn't end that way, instead, Grandma asked if later in the evening I would take the walk with her to see whether it was just a dream or whether an angel actually came and gave her a message. 
So that evening, Grandma and I took a walk...now you need to know that this is not the average activity for my grandmother, since her arthritis was so bad, but that night she seemed to walk as though she didn't have a care in the world!  We went about 2 1/2 blocks down he street when we came to this house that had a for sale sign in front, plus it  had a SOLD sign on it.  There along the side of the house were these green and white striped plants that were growing. To me, they just looked like weeds.  Grandma stopped dead in her tracks and said" there they are!"  She reached into her great big pockets of her Mickey mouse dress and pulled out a shovel and a small brown paper bag.  She told me that this was where the angel told her to go to find the plant that they wanted her to find.  She told me to dig it up.  I looked at her in such disbelief...I told her that was stealing....she told me no, it was alright because she was told by the angels to do it.  How does an 8 year old argue with that type of logic?  I went to the plant and dug it up for her.  She placed it in the brown paper bag and wrapped the dirty shovel in a towel in her other pocket and back home we went. 
The next morning when I woke up, Grandma was already in her garden planting the Angel plant...that was what she said she would name it.    That plant grew for years in Grandma's garden and bloomed year after year with these sweet little yellow blooms.  Now, the rest of the story was  that the next day on my way to school after our walk, I passed the same home we had just visited the night before.  To my surprise, there was a big landscaping truck there and they had dug up all the plants around the home and were putting in bushes.  I just stopped and wondered about Grandma's dream.  Was there maybe a real angel she had dreamt about?  Did that angel really want her to go and take that plant?  After all, they were all gone the next day!  Through the years, my Grandmother passed away and the house had been sold.  I had been past the house many times to look at it and revisit my childhood.  Then one day, I noticed they had torn up the entire garden.  They had cemented the entire yard.  All of Grandma was now gone.  All those beautiful flowers no longer blooming.  What a shame...I was heartbroken.  That was my Grandma's legacy so to speak.  A few years later, we bought the home that  am in now. 
One day while out was out gardening there seemed to be a plant that just sort of showed up one day underneath the Pine tree towards the back of my garden.  I had put in a second patio there with angel statues and small little signs that said things like WONDER.  I considered it my meditation garden when I just wanted to go and reflect.  Well, a plant  showed up and looked very familiar.  Soon after it bloomed the same way that the Angel plant bloomed so long ago for Grandma.  In that moment, I felt that it was a miracle!  Maybe Grandma came and planted it there for me.  I felt like she was giving me a gift in my angel garden.  She was leaving me a message of sorts.  She was trying to tell me that she was still with me.  The best thing was, that now, as an adult, I learned more and more about plants and never hesitated to look up something that was unknown to me.  When I took my books out to the garden and found the plant.  It's nick name was "Michael, the Archangel".  Now it really made me stop in my tracks!  What were the odds that the plant that Grandma said an angel came to her in a dream about would be named for an angel?  Was it a dream?  Was she meant to have it?  Maybe it was meant for me! Whatever the case, I treasure that plant.  It has traveled all along the angels garden and gives me great peace to know it is there.  And I warn my husband when he is in the garden to be careful of that plant.  And believe it or not...should I ever move, that will be one of the things that will be dug up and moved with me.  An angel's gift that has grows through the years.

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