Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, March 10, 2008

My Sisters

I have three sisters. We all garden. My mom can't figure out where we got
our love of gardening, certainly not from her. My sister has a photo (circa WWII)
of my mom standing in a vegetable garden with a lush tomato in her hand.
"A prop" she said, "a friend handed me a store bought tomato, so it would
look like it came from the garden."
She is so very not an outdoors kind of
person. But she has a fine appreciation for her daughters' gardening quirks.

My sisters and I have similar looks and mannerisms but we have different personalities. All of our gardens are different, too. They reflect our personalities.

My older sister has a cottage garden....she gardens in a city. I used to think her lot was way too small. It sure looks good to me now. Manageable is an attractive concept! Her garden is filled with plants from family and friends. It is colorful. She has a booth in an antique mall; so unique and quirky objects find a home in her garden. It's not unusual to find a rusty can, a broken chair a piece of mirror she found in an alley. It all works. That's my big sister...a good eye for the right combination of plants and color.

My baby sister is living in the suburbs. She has a few flower garden beds in the front yard and lots of lawn. Her guy loves the lawn. They also have a big vegetable garden in the backyard. You should have seen the look in her eyes and heard the excitement in her voice when she described the eggplants they grew last year. She is a nurturer. She loves plants and loves to garden, but her family is number one. Her garden will provide for them.

My next oldest sister has had to put gardening on hold. I know that makes her sad but before long she will back there digging and planting. Her garden was filled with succulents and day lilies. She has many pass along plants from her gardening buddies.

I wish I had photos of them in their gardens...I want to honor these three wonderful women. They have had almost all the responsibility of my mother's care since she had her heart attack/fall 12 days ago. They have been at the hospital everyday, all day, working in shifts. They have kept me informed and made a huge effort to be sure I am part of the decision making process regarding my mom's treatment. They have not resented my not being there the whole time. They are darlings. I thank them all the time. Now they can rest a bit....she is going to a rehab center and then home to her retirement community. They will still be on duty but maybe now they can get some time in their gardens.

I love you my dear sisters. Thank you.



  1. Gail
    That was such a touching tribute to your sisters and your mom. I love her comment about the tomato being a "prop" !
    I hope they all get some rest and less stress in there lives and of course you too !
    My best wishes for everyone in your family : )

  2. Gail, what a wonderful testimony to your dear sisters. You are indeed blessed to have a family that shares your love of gardening.

    My mother has followed me as a gardener rather than the other way around. She lives in Florida but when she stays with us she can be found out in the garden weeding like a machine. Other than her I only have one brother and he lives on the West Coast, I haven't seen him in years.

    I really enjoyed this posting on your blog.

  3. Gail, that was lovely. Our very best wishes for a speedy recovery for your dear Mother, and kudos to the sisters for making sure she is well cared for. How wonderful to be able to share your gardening tidbits with your sisters, having none of my own, I really enjoy the garden discussions held with my offspring, and even the offspring of the offspring are showing interest in gardening. You are very lucky. And the tomato prop is brilliant!

    Frances at Faire Garden

  4. joy, melanie and frances,

    You didn't know it but the whole time I have been home... you sisters (and brothers) in gardening have been my support. Thank you and thank you for your kind words.

  5. I took care of my mom for 15yrs in my home and a thank you from my three brothers would have been wonderful. I didn't mind taking care of mom---but they never came around her said anything. So your tribute to your sisters touched me a lot. They will cherish this. I do.

  6. anna,

    You deserved better...I know you didn't resent caring for your mom, but you still needed thanks.

    You have been a support for me, too, anna. Thank you.


  7. I am glad your mom is doing better, I know what it's like when a loved one isn't doing well. It can be extremely stressful.

    It was very thoughtful of you to thank your sisters in this way. I know it can be hard from far away, but I know what it means to have appreciation for what you've done expressed in such a way!

    It is nice to hear siblings that get along and aren't resentful of the positions they're put in. It's easy for others to criticize how things are getting done, it's far harder to express gratitude and thanks.

  8. this is a nice post! i also have three sisters. one of mine lives next to my mom and i thank God for her everyday. you really should get some pics of your sisters in their gardens. i loved your description of them. hope your mom is getting better and your sisters sould like saints.

    email me any time. next week will be pps again. i am hoping my instructor takes the whole class. she has been resistant to my suggestion to do so. she is going to give us an option to do a saturday field trip or on tuesday field trip, our regular class night. i am thinking tuesday. anyhow, hope to see you! the guy from alabama is bringing plants to sell and he is giving a program. bring money.

    did you make it to the lawn and garden show? take care-love talking to you.

  9. cinj and Tina,

    Family is important and I am glad I get along with my ssuters...they are dear. I miss my mom and being away from her is hard but if she were here....she would only see me and not all the rest of the family.


  10. You wrote a wonderful story about your sisters, Gail - one that hits home for me. In my family it's me who lives far away from the home base while my sisters juggle their lives to take care of the older generation.

    I hope everything goes well with the rehab and your mother's return to her residence... and that your sisters' gardens blossom and grow especially well this year.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  11. Sisters are the best! You are lucky to have them and they are lucky to have you and your Mom she has raised some great girls! I hope she does well in the rehab center. It is a difficult transition.

  12. Annie and Layanee,

    It often isn't until we are adults that we fully appreciate our sisters. They are the best.

    Glad you both stopped by and I SO am looking forward to meeting you at Spring Fling....I assume Annie that you will be there?


  13. I'm planning on being at all the Saturday events, Gail. My husband and I are hoping to make the Friday night dinner, too so we should be meeting you in just a few more weeks!


  14. you and your sister do favor one another-alot!

  15. Very touching Gail. Really touches my heart since I also have 4 daughters. Hope everthing turns out well with your mother. Thought she just had a fall so am sorry to hear about the heart. Did the heart cause the fall?

  16. This is a sweet post. It is so difficult being away from family when things like this are going on. I'm glad your sisters are there for each other and your mom. I hope she is feeling better soon.

  17. Gardening makes nurturers of us, doesn't it? Thanks for a sweet post, which reminds me to cherish my own sister.

  18. Everyone,
    Hope you don't mind a post to all instead of individual,

    My mom is much better, my sisters are still hanging in there...I asked about their gardens and photos of them in the garden, I am going to add them to the post....still no spring activity in their gardens but a few warm days should change that.

    I am hoping that I can hold the people I love in my heart everyday, it is so easy to get lost in the minutia of my day to day life.

    Glad you all stopped by and posted.


  19. It's so important to take care of each other. I'm very thankful I have siblings very near my parents. I'm only 4 1/2 hours away, but it wouldn't be close enough in an emergency.
    And, if there's no blood-family near, we become family for each other.
    It warms my heart that you love and appreciate your sisters so. I look forward to "meeting them" in their gardens someday. ;-)

  20. shady,

    I would love to have photos of them in their gardens, maybe this summer.



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