Does your garden tell a story?
Believe it or not, every garden has a story to tell.
Gardens have memories and they can make new memories. I know my garden has many good memories for me and continues to make new ones.
As I walk through my garden, I come to my perennial bed and I immediately think of the time my mother helped me plant my first flowers in it more than 30 years ago. We planted baby’s breath, day lilies, buttercups, lily of the valley and two hibiscus. They come up every year and are beautiful.
In addition, my mother decided “we” should plant this ornamental grass for a border. Well, not such a good idea. I am still trying to get rid of that “border” grass. Yet, I smile whenever I look at my perennials and think of her.
On the other end of my garden, I have a beautiful pink peony and a very large, variegated hosta transplanted from my grandmother’s house more than 30 years ago. They are both thriving and add a sentimental attraction to my garden.
When I look at those plants, I think of her and what I learned about gardening from her. She loved to plant annuals and vegetables. Her greatest love was her apple tree. She would take those apples and make the best apple crisp and applesauce. She taught me how to make the best use of a backyard.
Each spring as I get ready to plant my new herbs and vegetables, I think of my dad. He was raised in Pennsylvania and his parents grew every vegetable imaginable in their backyard. Nothing went to waste. So my dad did the same thing here in Ohio, or I should say, he tried to do it.
The clay soil made it a little more difficult, but with perseverance, he planted his garden.
He bought his plants, carefully planted them and nurtured them until harvest. He had some of the best tomatoes I have ever tasted. He taught me his “tips and tricks” of gardening and I must admit, I fell in love with a shovel and dirt.
I try to follow his cues in addition to what I have learned as a Master Gardener, but somehow, my tomatoes don’t look quite as good as his did.
My family has since passed away, but the memories remain each time I take a walk in my garden or stick a shovel in the dirt.
Since then, I have made new memories with my children and grandchildren. I have new perennials from my grown children and stones with my grandchildren’s handprints to remind me of how little they once were.
I still feel my mom, dad,and grandmother looking over my shoulder each time I plant something new. And somehow, I feel content knowing they will always be a part of my garden.
Take some time this summer to plant something with your family. Ask a relative for a start of a plant you want to share with the next generation.
Kostelic is an Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer in Mahoning County.