My Mother’s Garden

posted in: Everyday Life, Photography | 3

{ This plaque encompasses my mother’s passions almost completely. She painted it herself (crafty) and it hangs in her garden (green thumb). How perfect! }

I associate many things with my mother, many of which can be placed into two categories: arts & crafts and horticulture. When my mom isn’t hand-crafting her latest creation, she’s most likely elbow-deep in the soil, tending to her garden, or at least sitting in her backyard sipping a beverage, and admiring the beautiful oasis she has created for herself and our family. As far back as I can remember, my mom has always had a green thumb. Our home always had vases full of beautiful flowers – flowers my mom grew in her garden. Calla lilies, roses, irises, these are the flowers that my mother loves best but her garden is filled with many more…

Back in March I visited Southern California, where I grew up, to spend time with my Nana as she was preparing to leave this world. It was a challenging time for the whole family, myself included. My grandmother was a very strong woman – an outspoken firecracker of a lady and that is probably what I admired most about her. She was spirited, she spoke her mind, and she loved to laugh. Most of the snapshot memories I have of her in my mind include her with a huge, laughing smile across her face. I am her namesake, an honor which I’ve always held dear to my heart. Now more than ever, being named after my grandmother is very special to me – it helps me feel connected to her even though she has passed on to the next life.

Mom & Nana's Violets

{ My mother transplanted some of my Nana’s violets to her own garden. Violets were my Nana’s favorite flower. }

During my visit I spent time in my childhood backyard. This backyard has seen its fair share of changes throughout the years. When I was in high school my mom and dad decided to build a pond. They have always been avid do-it-yourself-ers, so naturally they endeavored to do all the work – digging the giant hole, hauling the dirt away, and sneaking into random abandoned lots to procure a variety of boulders and rocks. I have a distinct memory of pulling up in our red Chevy Silverado at one such lot, my mom jumping out and perusing the various boulders. “That one!” she’d shout to my dad, when she found the perfect rock to add to her pond. My brother, Nick, and I were also in on the action, struggling to lift the largest rocks we could, working as a family to create our beautiful pond.

Gnome & Pond!

{ I didn’t get a great photo of the pond, but here is a little gnome dude swinging above the water near the waterfall. }

The pond project and it’s surrounding garden was a great success. It serves as a beautiful relaxing backdrop to the backyard. A place to getaway when you need some peace of mind. Whenever I visit my childhood home, my mother’s garden is one of my favorite places to spend time, both alone and with my family. My mom’s green thumb is a blessing to our family, and for that I am thankful.

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3 Responses

  1. Eloquent and loving words. Thank you for the honor of being such an inspiration to your beautiful writings and photography. You are one of my greatest masterpieces!

  2. Danielle Neufeld

    I love this, especially the little gnome. Your mom sounds like an amazing lady!

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