Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Invisible gardens

Stratoz is wondering about gardening blind. This week was the 4th anniversary of my mother's death. Her gardens were always marvels, no less the lush walled garden she created in a postage stamped sized yard in Southern California than the acres she made bloom in the dry central hills further north. She continued to garden once she lost her sight. Though she had a marvelous sense of color -- she could match colors by memory -- she drifted toward more heavily scented garden choices as her sight dimmed. I remember driving her on an expedition to find new plants for a garden outside her bedroom, holding up various specimens for her to smell.

The morning of her funeral I went out into her garden and cut armfuls of richly scented roses and fragrant rosemary and laid them over her in her casket. To this day, both scents instantly bring her to life in my mind.

Years later, I ripped the remains of that garden out for my father and hauled a ton of rocks (literally - I carried 2000 pounds of rocks in wheelbarrows and placed them by hand) down the hill to cover it over. All the while I thought of the scent of those plants on my hands as my mother and I knelt to place each one. The memories can't be buried, even though the plants and my mother are both covered over.


  1. thank you so much for sharing this story.

  2. Yes, what wonderful memories.

    I was thinking about you and loss in Holy Week just the other day, and praying for you....it must be especially poignant to have this one coincide this year as well.