On Flowers, and May, and Memories…

Gardens surrounded the house where I grew up. I didn’t appreciate them then, took them for granted. But, in these fine spring days, I find myself drawn back. Such beauty in my midst, and I unaware. So, these memories – I wonder how accurate they are. And then wonder if it matters.

Flower, Flora, Nature, Season, FieldLily-of-the-Valley

These filled an area in the lower gardens. A rickety bridge, then a field of green with small white blossoms. I wasn’t allowed to cross, to tread on these delicate plants. We all watched, from afar.



A wooden pergola covered the entrance to our back door, weighed down with aged wisteria. Each year the arbor sagged a bit more under its bulk. One morning, as we opened the door, we found that the wisteria had won out. It, and the trellis, lay on the ground. Though the plant roots remained, it seemed that the plant never recovered from the loss of its structure, and that year was the year that it bloomed its last.

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My grandmother’s house was in back of ours, she of the green thumb. Everything she touched thrived, unlike my mother, and me. Lilac trees, white and purple, lined one side of her house. I remember taking bouquets of lilacs, wrapped in waxed paper and tin foil (as we called it then) to my teachers, their desks replete with a bounty of roses and spring flowers from eager students – or eager parents.

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The Snowball Bush

I happily happened on a Facebook post about snowball bushes. How wonderful that someone else remembered, these now so out of favor that they are confused with hydrangeas. They lined a hill on one side of our house, white, heavy with blossoms that lasted only one day in a vase, meant to be where they thrived, in their own environment, not for us humans to conquer.

And I end with



A bed of peonies that greeted us as we rounded the driveway, not only with their color, but with their scent. Again, too brief a season, giving us a reason to stop, to pay attention. For so much of what we love is fragile, lasting what seems only a day.

A life lesson, no?


On Stones and Walls and Memories

On Stones and Walls and Memories

I came upon this photo last week – stone garden walls in a misty rain. It brought to me to my childhood home, called Rock Springs, because of the rocks, I suppose. It also had a spring, but somehow that didn’t etch itself in my memory.

Rather, it was the granite, so much a part of Ellicott City, those stone walls, stone steps, rock gardens, that were such a part of my growing up.

Installed generations before we lived there, I took all for granted.  Now I think of those who planned it, and, more so, those whose physical labor put it into place – a herculean task in the 1910s. And of the generations who enjoyed the fruits of that labor.

I left years ago, to be a city-dweller, I said, extolling the virtues of downtown living. Later, much later, Rock Springs was sold, too long after my mother could no longer take care of it, the house and grounds a sad dowager in need of a facelift and much tender loving care.

The family who bought it, in possession of a superabundance of earth-moving equipment, destroyed every wall they found. Who can say why?

And now, the property in more loving hands who seek to restore it. They found mountains of rocks piled high in the woods, those rocks that, over one hundred years ago, had been placed forever, or so it was thought.

I sent drawings, and best wishes that Rock Springs be loved as it once was.