It’s spring and my roses are now in full bloom – they somehow just know how to to that without my prompting. I love these guys – so colorful and so fragrant. There are other flowers and vegetables that were once here last year who fulfilled their mission and then found their way to the great compost of the earth that will then support newer generations of flowers and vegetables.
I like to spend time in my garden just sitting and meditating. These roses have taken some time to mature sending their viney branches upward and merging with the fence line. They appear as wallpaper surrounding this sanctuary of what I call my garden.
To sit and reflect in my garden is to understand at a deeper wordless level that Nature follows a path of change and renewal. Even when droughts or natural devastation occur Nature continues its course and its up to us as stewards of the environment to meet those challenges and move forward. I always feel good when I walk outside and breathe in good oxygen, stretch my legs, hear the birds and discover what new changes have popped up over night . Now that I take a closer look and sit in the garden I feel embraced by a new understanding of how Nature is impacting me more.
My garden takes me back to my roots in Minnesota where winters are long and the growing season is short. Every year my parents might grow a few vegetables but most of their time and effort was in planting flowers. I can still remember the many trips to the garden nurseries and bringing home bright colored annuals that would be planted amidst the perennials that popped up each year on cue. The care of the soil and the perfect placement of each flower brought in was well engrained in me. Choosing and caring for flowers was a year round event. So even in the winter my brothers and I might go down to the corner drug store and retrieve a tossed out cigar box to bring home, fill with dirt, plant seeds (nasturtiums or bachelor buttons) and pray over them until Spring came and welcomed them into the earth.
Now sitting in my garden, I can smile and reminisce about those times and appreciate how much my growing up years taught me to be a steward of the land and a planter for nourishment and beauty. Those years were about caring for the soil, planting for food on the table and most of all creating space for the joyous beauty that each flower brings.
My garden connects to times past and to relatives now gone but not forgotten. I garden with the spirit of my ancestors. I remember growing up how my Norwegian grandmother Celia Svebakk Nelson would carefully till her backyard garden and sow zinnias that magically would blossom into a multitude of colors as summer progressed. And then there my other grandmother Nellie Scanlon whose lilac bush would exude a most fragrant scent from the delicate purple flowers. I chuckle to myself when I think of my mother’s “field” of pansies – one of her favorite flowers that were often picked and brought into the house and displayed in a pansies bowl on the table. Everyone enjoyed them including the cat who would jump up on the table and swipe out the pansies and drink the water in the bowl! What memories!
This year I will once again plant tomatoes, beans, apples, plums, herbs, delphiniums, zinnias, petunias, pansies and for the bachelor brother who recently passed away there will of course be a sprinkling of bachelor button seeds.
And as I watch them grow I will feel the embrace and loving goodness of each family member who has passed through my life and touched my soul and taught me to appreciate the beauty of flowers.
How could I be more in harmony with Nature than what I see and do within my own garden!
“Look Deep into Nature then you will understand everything better” – Albert Einstein