Come see what’s blooming! And, what’s in your garden?

Heather Jose photo.

Heather Jose

I am a gardener.

Of course I love the blossoms—but I love the connections even more. How about you? As you watch each wave of blooms this season, where do these sights and smells carry you?

My grandparents spent hours puttering in their flowers and my husband’s grandfather still grows tomatoes that are coveted throughout the assisted living home where he lives. When I am in my garden I am doing the very same things they did and loved.

When we built our house in 2005 I spent hours on the layout, much of which changed over time. One thing that always remained was the flower garden out in front. It sits between the house and the sidewalk, which I designed to be curved rather than straight. I wanted a feel of meandering through the flowers rather than a direct route to the front door. The sidewalk has served to keep the deer away too, for which I am grateful.

Peony in full bloomMy perennial garden is growing like crazy right now. The tulips have come and gone, the phlox is in full bloom and my peony, poppies, and irises are about to open.

My flowers are an eclectic collection, some of which I purchased, but many that were given to me. The lemon lilies, irises, and hostas all came from Grandma’s garden. The poppies were a birthday gift from friends. Mom brought me my daisies. She got her daisies from a close friend who has since passed away.

The Asiatic lilies are from an elderly gentleman who I met one day when I stopped to tell him how much I loved his flowers. He invited me to come back and get some in the fall when he thinned them. I took him up on that.

And the red bee balm? I saw that first outside of the cancer center at U of M and had to have some.

I still use my grandparents’ shovels and a wheelbarrow that I bought at my neighbor’s garage sale before she passed away. My rototiller belonged to the tomato man himself, who passed it on to us when he moved. It brings me great satisfaction to have and use these tools.

There is no greater feeling than hearing one of my kids call out, “Come see what’s blooming!” I love that I am passing it on.

Even on my busiest days, I walk slowly through the flowers. My garden is more than beautiful colors and scents—my garden blooms each year with rich memories of friends and family.

And, what’s in your garden?

What memories blossom with your flowers?

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  1. Debra says

    Heather, what a lovely essay. I’m with you, our gardens are not just where we dig in our flowers but where we plant and propagate memories as well. For me it’s the azaleas and dogwoods that we’ve planted up here. When they bloom they not only flowering shrubs, but instant portals to my childhood in the south. The essay, A Sense of Place, was my meditation on being a Southern mom raising kids in the midwest.