when i was a little girl i used to sit at my grandmas kitchen table, we ate breakfast there. it was either homemade granola, cereal, or butter toast, cut in half down the middle. we ate fresh picked blueberries and pears, we drank orange juice or mint tea with orange juice in it. grandpa always had toast and gram always drank her tea. i remember the way it smells, the way it tasted, i still drink my mint tea with orange juice and think of her. next to her table there was a large sliding glass door, that was impeccably clean. so much so, that she had to put sticky notes on it, so people wouldn't walk into it. outside the glass door was her garden. grams garden was no ordinary garden, it was magical. it was beautiful, well kept, always something in bloom. it was so beautiful it was featured in Sunset magazine. she cared for the garden with the highest level of skill. she knew just what to plant, when to plant it, how to transfer the different types of plants and how to make them grow. she put them in the right place for the sun and for the shade, she watered them how they should be watered. i remember next to the garden there was a wood deck, we used to play on as cousins. it was the venue for swim suit fashion shows, the beginning of many croquet games, the backdrop to family videos and the place where we as cousins would run around barefooted with orange juice and apple juice popsicles. they had a yellow plastic stick that you could suck the dripping juice from. i remember the way the apple juice would melt into a sort of slush, how you could suck the juice out of the ice and all that remained was the icey part that had lost its sweetness. i remember eating certain plants in my grandmas garden that she washed for us and let us try. there was a waterfall that grandpa made and squirrels that scurried about. this was grams garden.

my mom has a garden too. also beautiful and also full of memories. she takes the same care. she adores her flowers and cares for them just like her mother. in the summer i knew as soon as i woke up i could find my mother in the garden. i would walk outside, the grass was usually still a little damp and it hadn't quite gotten hot. i was there, still in pajamas and barefoot and there she was each morning, standing in the garden, sometimes with shoes, sometimes with out, hunched over, picking a weed or dead heading a flower. i would go and just talk with her while she worked. i don't ever remember being forced to "work" in the garden. it was moms place, it was her haven and place of peace and control. we enjoyed the fruits of her labor, literally being able to eat tomatoes, peas, squash, raspberries, strawberries, to our hearts content. recently my dad built an incredible waterfall that now trickles and flows next to the garden. there is a mulberry bush that shades two white chairs where many memories have been shared, many talks have been had, much sunbathing has been done, and many parties have taken place. my moms garden is different than grams, but it is beautiful just like hers, it has some of the same flowers that were transplanted there. it houses many memories just like grams. it is my moms garden.

I have planted flowers in my moms garden, she taught me to separate the roots before placing the flower in the ground. i have helped my dad make cement bird baths that sit in the garden. i have eaten the fruit and vegetables and enjoyed the many memories.  i have watered the flowers and just sat and gazed at the beauty. i don't have my own garden. one day i hope to be able to plant flowers with my children and create the same beauty that my mom and grandma did. I don't have many memories of my other grandmas garden, but i do remember eating delicious peaches from her peach tree, and the way the fuzz itched my lips. i wish i could have spent more time in Till's garden.

in the book "Whose Garden Is It?" by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Jane Dyer the main character Mrs. McGee and a child make their way through a garden, one too that is filled with beauty, and are met by the gardener, animals, the sun, the rain, the seeds, the weeds, all insisting that they are in their garden. It is theirs because of how they assist in its life, how they eat of its fruit or provide for its needs. the whole book written in rhyme is an adventure to find out really "Whose Garden Is It?" each creature or person explains why it obviously belongs to them and at the end Mrs. McGee is still puzzled by the question. Is it the gardener who owns the garden? the sun? the rain? the worm? the seed? it leaves us all wondering the same question, whose garden is it really? 

it is a great book with beautiful illustrations that brought back many memories.

this is my mom's garden (that i think we all claim, my mom, my dad, my brothers, and sister, the grandkids, it is so beautiful, we all want it to be ours!) do you blame us?



The sun was now setting, the day growing late.
The gardener called as she walked out the gate,
"Now wasn't my garden a fine place to visit?"
But still she ket wondering
(Are you still wondering?),

Whose Garden is it?


  1. What a beautiful post. I have fond memories of my great-grandmother's garden. She lived on a 100 acre farm and would plant rows of irises. She would also make these lovely bird baths out of colored glass jars and concrete. I will have to check out Whose Garden Is It? from the library!

    1. really you should, it was such a great book! i love how many fond memories come from the things people in our lives created. i am sure your great grandmothers garden was beautiful! one day i would love to live on a 100 acre farm...sounds like heaven!