Do you have any memories of gardens from your growing-up years?
My Grandma had this great house.
In my Grandmothers neighborhood the streets were lined with very old very tall trees and the streets were shaded almost to the point of being dark all the time.
It was wonderfully cool as you walked down the sidewalk. It had a true story book feel to the memories. It was like walking under a leafy canopy. Her house was up on a small level plateau and there was a small set of concrete step with a black iron railing to hold on to. Her house was on the corner and as you walked up the steps on either side and all the way around the house on the other side of the street was this amazing bank of dark green ivy. Once you got the the top of the steps the ground leveled out and there was a small expanse of grass in front of the house. I remember it always being a deep green. There was a thick hedgerow growing across the front of the house.
Off to the left in front of the hedgerow was her flower bed. What I remember about it was that it always seemed to be perfect. It was full to the brim with tulips.
I am sure that my memory is clouded with love but what I remember is row upon row of perfectly lined up tulips and they all seemed to be exactly the same heights. Yellow one, red ones, pink ones. It was just beautiful. I think maybe rose were my grandma favorite but there were some many different kinds of flowers it is hard to be sure. I wish I had some pictures of her garden in all it’s glory it but sadly I do not. Maybe it’s even better that I don’t have any picture because I can remember the garden they way a child remember things. These black and white pictures were taken many years later when I went back to my Grandma’s house after my Grandfather passed away. You can see the tulips just starting to come up in this picture.
There was a small sidewalk off to the right and it lead to the back yard. The back yard was equally magical. As you approached the back yard you came upon a small white gate. It always seemed to be broken and in need of a coat of paint but some how that lead to the experience
Today I know they are called Clematis but back then it just seemed to be those story book curling vines that trailed every where. They just draped around all the nooks and crannies of Grandmas front poach and the garden gate. I had some growing at my old house, Grandma may have even given it to me to plant I think! I have yet to find the right spot for any here at my new garden.
Once you stepped through the gate to the back yard along the right side was a very small white picket fence.
You really could not even see the fence because all you saw were the flowers. The snapdragons are what I remember the most. The were as tall as the fence and they lined the entire length of the fence. We would go over and pick on the of flowers off and take them to her and say “Do it Grandma!” She would place the blossom between her fingers and press and the blossom would open and shut like a small little mouth and she would say ‘Hello Lollie!” Even now when I look at a snapdragons I think of them as Hello Lollie’s.
There was an even taller row of hedges that entirely surrounded the backyard. It was so tall that you were enveloped completely, you could not see the street or the other house at all. It was like being in your own little private green world. On the far left side of the yard and in front of the big kitchen window were roses. When I think of her flowers the words that come to mind that best describe my memory are sea of color.
This was the arched garden gate at the back of the yard that lead to the alley. In the summer it was draped with green vines.
Grandma did a lot of canning but she did not have the space for a vegetable garden. She must have had friends who did because I remember her always putting up stuff. I do remember that in the fall it was a big deal to go out to the local orchards and pick what ever was in season. Apples, peaches then she would make apple butter or some kind of jam or jelly.
I have some of Grandmas' iris in my yard today. I wait with great expectation for the first bloom to arrive every spring.
When they bloom I think of her.
I remember Grandma going out to the garden with her pinking shears and coming back with an arm load of flowers for an arrangement to set on the table.
As a grown up I remember sitting with my Grandmother looking through seed catalogs. She would point to the various kinds of irises and other type of blubs and we would talk about how beautiful they were. I remember her talking about being a member of the Garden Club. If memory serves her garden even won many awards in the Columbus area.
I think I must have inherited my love of working in the garden from my grandmother. My soil is ready to plant and all I have to do now is go get me somethng to plant.
Well that's it for me for this Flashback Friday!
I have to say I’m really missing my Grandma today.
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