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Today’s gardener/writer guest is Donna Alice Patton, who will be telling us about her garden memories. I don’t know about the rest of the gardeners on this blog, but like Donna, when I look at my garden I see memories of past gardeners, family, and friends who have contributed to my garden with remembrances and plants. Welcome, Donna!

A Garden of Memories

The yellow iris bloomed this month in my flower beds – an abundance of yellow iris among the white and purple and one special pink. Each bloom reminds me of my friend, Jean, who gave me the bulbs. While I was admiring their sunny splotches throughout the yard – I noticed the pink and white peonies had also burst into bloom. Those reminded me of Lizzie, the lady who owned this house before me. Every spring the peonies gladden my heart and spirit even though Lizzie is long gone. The few remaining purple iris were hers, as well as the daffodils and crocus that come up faithfully every spring.

As I thought about Jean and Lizzie, I remembered more of the people and events my gardens bring to mind. There are the ‘Hen and Chick” plants that belonged to a very old priest in Chicago. Jean brought those to me. A bright yellow coreopsis was a Mother’s Day gift from my niece, Cindy. The glorious rainbow of tulips were planted by my dad. There are twin maple trees – giants now. My nephews, Jarrod and Jeremiah planted them as twigs when my Aunt Margie downsized her yard. At the side of the house – pastel pink, white and purple Rose of Sharon bloom – seeds dropped by the parent plant Aunt Bobbie gave me. All faithfully reminding me of an aunt who left us too soon, twenty years ago. The salmon colored lilies? A birthday gift from Theresa.

The gardens also remind me of events. Planting the grapevines with Jarrod. The sweaty hours we spent trying to dig a strawberry bed and keep the weeds out. Picking strawberries and blueberries with the new crop of “greats” nieces and nephews. Remembering many years ago when my niece, Heather, ignored the pink cosmos, butter yellow marigolds and stunning roses to pick her ‘favorite’ flower – the daisy-like weeds I pulled up without thinking. She called them “fairy-winkle” flowers. To this day when they come up in my garden, I dig them up and replant them along the creek bed. And how can I forget my continual struggle to maintain flower boxes on the porch. The cats love to sit on the railing and the flower boxes were always an ‘extension’ of their sleeping space. Many times I’d chase them out of the petunias or find a cat covered in dirt and the remnants of petunias.

As I looked at my gardens this spring, I had to laugh at all the memories – good, poignant and sometimes bittersweet. While I see the beauty of the blooms, I also see the faces of family and friends and remember those tiny snippets of moments. Like three little girls on a rainy day – rejoicing in the blooming lilies.


About the Author:

Donna Alice Patton loves gardens and the memories they evoke! Her newest book is a mystery/thriller – Roses are Red, Diamonds are Blue. It’s a mild romance, suitable for teens and up, available in June, 2017 http://www.donnaalicepatton.com/