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

Friday, April 17, 2009

Honoring This Day

This morning I have been wandering from activity to activity...
sure what to do. You see, it is the first anniversary of my Mom's death. I really didn't plan to post about it. I didn't plan to post at all; just take time off and be with myself...I have wandered half hearted from activity to activity...Until Doris called. She wants to stop by and see the wildflowers.

You might remember Doris. She's my garden club friend who keeps trying to talk me into adding my garden to the tour! Naturally, I headed outside to put the tools away and move the trash cans from view!

Something happened while I was out there!
My energy returned!
A veil lifted. Colors that looked washed out and dull...


I noticed, really noticed all the flowers!Isn't it interesting that the crest on this Crested Iris is hiding?

Here is what most of the others open to look like~~
The crest is there underneath the little sepal and the color is a different purple...(Now I wonder if I planted a named variety that I have since forgotten!)

Oh, the things we notice when we are noticing!

There I was in the now.
April 20, 2009

The now of embracing all of my feelings,
not just the feelings of sadness and loss.

It always amazes and delights me when the garden offers clarity.

Gardening has always been fundamental to my life.
For just a bit...I forgot that
it is healing, sustaining and lifting.

I am so glad Doris called!


Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom. (Marcel Proust)


  1. Hi Gail,
    I remember the first year after my Mom died. It's the hardest. Gardening really can lift your spirits and be a soul soothing experience. I'm glad that your friend stopped by and you could share the day with her. Take care.

  2. My dear Gail......a day of memories, and I am sure Mum walked with you around your garden. Quietly and slowly.......

    I believe nature gives us a greater understanding of life and death......thus it is so important for children to tend a plot with parent, or grandparent......

    Your garden is a joy.......and may this day pass peacefully and with a lot of love........

  3. If I'm feeling down, I head outside to see the flowers and what's happening in the garden. It always rejuvenates me. Also the memorial gardens I've planted. I miss the loved ones who've gone, but find solace in their little gardens. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi Gail, Firstly, I'm sorry to hear your mom died a year ago and I send belated condolences. Was your mom a gardener, too? I am glad you found clarity and the joy of here and now while gardening. That's what I've always loved most about gardening, too. I also love the tiarella.

  5. I always find a walk round the garden helps re-energise me or if the weather is really against it then pottering in the greenhouse helps too

  6. My dear friend, this post makes me so happy for you. I know that you have been searching for meaning and purpose, knowing this date was coming up. It seems you have found the way to ease your pain. I am so happy for you. And Doris, for if she knows the key she turned, it would indeed be as fulfilling to her also. My thoughts are with you on this incredibly beautiful day.


  7. I'm glad she called too! Your garden is such a sanctuary, it would be hard to be in a downer mood out in the midst of it. I can never forget the healing power of a garden. It is truly an awesome thing.

  8. Gail, What a sweet day for you. A day of remembrance and a day of celebration of the present. May you be in tune with your emotions and memories today. May they fill your day with as much as beauty as your garden has. Love, SG

  9. Dear Gail, my thoughts are with you as you remember your mom.

    I'm glad you're enjoying the company of a friend, and that your beautiful spring garden so full of life brings you comfort, clarity, and a call to be present with all your feelings.


  10. Bless your heart, Gail! My own most-beloved Mama died at the beginning of May, and I'll probably post that very poignant story on Mother's Day. We carry them in our hearts always, but as the years pass, they become lighter to carry, more spirit, less sorrow. I'm glad you shared your garden with your own mama---and with us---today.

  11. Thanks for the lesson in dealing with dread in a successful way.

  12. Your garden is wonderful and I can surely see it lifting your spirits. Again, sorry for the loss of your mother, Bernice. You take care on this glorious day.

  13. Gail, you have a way with words, that is quite outstanding. It's always such a pleasure dropping by.
    A garden full of growing plants is indeed both healing and uplifting.

  14. Gail, I am glad you got out and enjoyed your garden as it awakens this spring. Celebrate your mom's life, don't think about the day she passed.

  15. Gail, I am so happy that your garden brought you some peace and clarity and lifted your spirits today. Such an anniversary is difficult, but I think Cheryl was right that your mother was there with you in spirit, helping you to see the beauty in life. I'm sure that there are parts of the garden that stir up memories of her as well, like your lovely witch hazel. And though you may have used that quote before, it fits Doris perfectly! How wonderful to have such good friends who know exactly what we need.

  16. Gail, how fitting that your garden should be a source of joy and comfort on what must have been a difficult day to face. Gardens do indeed sooth the soul.

  17. Hi again Gail:-)Oh my… this has struck a chord but from the opposite end. I considered a posting to mark a loss this week too (Mon) and bottled out. I am so glad that you have been brave enough to do this. I hope it has helped you. You have had wonderfully supportive comments :-)

    Monday saw the 20th Anniversary of the loss of our first baby, a son, sadly we have no memories. Treasure yours of your Mum. My garden is full of plants and other items bought over the years to mark this anniversary but yet it is not a sad place. It has been a place that our daughters have grown up and enjoyed. Our gardens can be such special places on so many different levels.

    My very best wishes to you and your family x Your garden is looking great at the moment. Enjoy every minute of it :-D

  18. Gail .. I have been staring at this message screen trying to think of something truly astounding and uplifting .. Something in words, that our gardens express to us in its beauty.
    Think of that very still, perfect moment before a light Spring or summer rain shower. Closing your eyes, lifting your face to the sky, feeling that gentle rain fall on your face .. how quiet it can be, yet hearing the birds chirrping happily .. how beautiful all the plants look after they have been so rejuvenated ..
    All gardeners know that feeling .. it may sound corny but it is like your soul sighs happily.
    Those are precious moments in our lives. I think our gardens are an astounding touch stone, so we can cope with sadness, or stress ..
    You are going to be ok .. that is what your garden has just said to you : )

  19. What a beautiful memorial to your Mom...you loving life.

  20. Gail,
    Your garden looks wonderful, and isn't it a wonderful way to touch nature and ground our lives by walking around our gardens?

    I lost my Mom just over seven years ago, but always remember and honor that anniversary.


  21. Anniversaries can be difficult, but it sounds as though it turned into a beautiful experience through your garden. It looks wonderful!

  22. Gail,

    My heartfelt sympathy. My mom passed away in 1982 (at age 51) and I still think of her frequently. At first you remember the anniversary of the death. Then, you start forgetting the death anniversary and start remembering the cheerful times again. My mother was a gardener and it is the iris that I remember most from her garden.

    I'm glad you got out into your garden to enjoy the beauty of your sanctuary.


  23. Gail, you are doing better than I did when my Mother died. I couldn't even garden for a year. My dear garden waited there for me to get back there. It does feel good to get over that hump. Gardens are always there to help us through. I wish you peace.

  24. Isn't it wonderful to have your garden there to lift your spirits?

  25. Being outdoors always makes me feel better I can see why it helped you. I'm glad it helped you to feel better on this anniversary. Gardens have that kind of magic.

  26. You honored this day in a way your mom would have been glad for, that you were able to embrace all your feelings, and not just the sad ones. The post was a wonderful tribute to your mom and the value friends and gardens have in our lives. Your garden is beautiful!

  27. Big hugs Gail and you are so loved in this blogging world. I read every comment cause we all miss our mommas. This whole post is a real blessing and will extend far beyond your blog.

  28. My dear friends,

    Thank you...you are the dearest people! Your support and friendship are precious to me! It's Saturday morning and the sun is shining and I already feel the New Year dawning. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Gail

  29. Gail -- That your garden sanctuary brought you peace is a wonderful, affirming thing. I'm glad it helped you through this difficult day. Peace and sweet memories to you, my friend.

  30. Thank you for a wonderful post from your heart. It and the pictures are beautiful.


  31. So very well said Gail. Gardens can be so rewarding in so many ways. I'm glad your friend got you outside again. Enjoy your weekend.

  32. What a profoundly moving post, Gail. I'm sorry that you had to deal with your mother's loss a year ago, but I'm glad that you shared this anniversary with your friends across the miles. So many of us have been through something similar (I lost my father nearly four years ago, though he technically left us through the horrors of Alzheimer's nearly 4 years before his death).
    Plants can do so much to us- comfort us, cheer us, make us giddy with joy, lift our hearts when they are heavy. I'm hoping that the rest of the weekend surrounds you with comforting memories and the joy of gardening.

  33. Gail, what a beautiful, beautiful post, and a beautiful, beautiful garden. I am sure your mother walked with you. Take care.
    My warmest regards,

  34. I am also glad Doris called, and glad you shared your thoughts with us. It is true there are sad things in this life, and we are allowed to be sad.

  35. Wow Gail! Your garden is looking amazing. Love the photos. Thanks for the comment on my pics. My phone is a Razor. Nothing fancy but it works well. It has a 1.3 mp camera on it which does pretty nice pictures to my suprise!

  36. I'm so glad that your garden was able to lift your spirits Gail. Gardening has always been good therapy for me during tough times in my life. Take care.

  37. Dearest Gail,
    I'm so glad that Doris was there for you at this difficult time. The load does lighten with age. I think that our Mothers are the most precious to loose. We only have one.
    I had the marvelous opportunity to visit my Mom's grave last week & also my baby's. They rest side by side. It's been over 10 yrs. since I had the chance to visit.
    May God's loving embrace soothe your broken heart.

  38. Gardening heals the soul. I am glad you were able to get out and enjoy the blooms and that they uplifted your spirit!

  39. Oh Gail, my heart goes out to you. I remember reading bits and pieces about your Mother in various posts but had no idea she had passed away as recently as a year ago. You were fairly new to blogging then? and I wasn't as frequent a visitor as I am now so I can't recall if you mentioned it then or not? I'm glad your friend called and gave you a purpose ~ sometimes that's all it takes to refocus. Your garden is lovely right now ~ I'm glad it gave you comfort today. Hugs to you.

  40. Dear Gail, I hold your heart near mine. My mother unexpectedly died 37 yrs ago in my arms after visiting me in our then newly purchased home (with her in mind). As I held her through those last days, Mr. Ho-Hum described my April garden through phone calls to sustain me. Each April reminds me of her, my first garden mentor who still gardens beside me. Mothers never leave us, Gail. Please know how proud your mother is of you.

  41. Gail,

    I love you!

    I this was a hard day for you. I'm glad your garden was there to comfort you.

    We are beginning to buy some plants for our yard. Its kind of strange to be buying things that we will in most likelihood never get to see grow. Oh well!


  42. Dear Gail,
    The garden is the perfect place to find our center when wandering or sorrow or any number of other emotions begin to weigh us down. Sometimes the least expected thing like a call from Doris is just the divine intervention we need to help us through the day.

    I loved walking through the brightness and beauty of your garden on this honorable day.

    It hardly seems possible it was a year ago. My heartfelt thoughts are with you as you continue to look to the garden for healing and sustenance.

  43. Gail, I know you must have many happy memories to sustain you. Thinking of you.

  44. Thank goodness for our gardens. It never fails to provide what we need of it ~ from healing to nurturing our souls.

  45. Spring in Alabama was especially sweet to me this year. Dealing with the stress of my dad's cancer and surgery, as often as I could, I ventured outside and lost myself behind the lens of the camera. Photographing the flowers and birds was a healing balm.

    I'm glad your friend called you, Gail.

  46. Dear Gail, I got very emotional while reading your post. I got my love of gardening from my Mom. Although she left us 15 years ago, I feel as she lives in every flower, every plant in my garden. I am sure it's true with you, too. Take care and let's be grateful that we had such beautiful mothers.

  47. I'm glad you were able to be in your garden with a friend on this anniversary, Gail.

    Sometimes I've noticed that when someone dies just as the world is waking up from winter, it can seem very unfair that the world lives on while they do not.
    But in later years, that timing seems less unfortunate, as the unfolding flowers become a comfort once again.

    I hope the hidden-crest iris keeps appearing - it's so lovely and unusual.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose


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