Dear Friends, If you don't mind too very much, I want to share this post I wrote for Mother's Day last year. It's a good story about my mom and me. The story makes my gardening sisters laugh. I've edited it and added photos...but it's still much the same. g
Let me tell you a story. It's a gardening story about my mother and me. Never in the 83 years of her life, did my mother give anyone the impression that she liked gardening. She didn't like the hot sun and wasn't the least bit interested in sweating. She was a city girl through and through. She loved air conditioning more than fresh air.
A little background. Mom had finally sold her house and moved to a retirement community. She loved it; made new friends and participated in most activities. She became part of a group of women called the Fun-shine Group. They were so popular the other residents wanted to sit with them. The dining room tables were set up for four, but they always managed to squeeze in a few more chairs. She proudly told me about how the dining room staff had a special sign made just for their table. I think it said, "The Fun Shine Girls shine here. "
She was having a ball. Many times she would be too busy to talk to us. We learned never to call on Friday afternoons....that was Happy Hour in the lounge! We were tickled pink. She was blossoming.
The Fun-Shine Girls...Momma is the cute one in red.
I have no idea how she came to agree to help her good friends, Jeri and Judy, clean up the Rose beds, but she did. The grounds were lovely, but the roses were looking poorly. Someone organized the day and got everyone gloves and tools. Imagine my surprise, my mom in a garden.
I didn't hear from her that evening, but called the next day in eager anticipation to hear how she had fared at gardening! She told me all about it. Fairy Queen Rose Summer 2008How they cleaned out the old canes, weeded the beds and even how long it took. This was a total surprise, I thought my mom would be complaining to me about how bad it was, hating every moment of being in the sun, getting hot and dirty. But not one complaint from her! You can't imagine how excited I was to hear this tale; finally my mom and I would share an interest in gardening. I was off and running with fantasies of visits to the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I was so delighted. "Mom" I said, "so tell me, did you have a good time? Did you enjoy gardening?"
"You've got to be kidding" she said, "I hated every minute of it! All the volunteers decided it was too hot and quit and Jeri and I were stuck cleaning the mess out all by ourselves." "You mean you didn't like any of it?" "Absolutely, not!" she replied. My balloon was burst, we weren't going to be bonding over the garden fence.
But, that was my mom! She supported her friend with out complaining or leaving her to finish alone. She was classy.
Nothing changed her opinion about gardening or the outdoors! She marveled at how much I loved to garden and how many plants I had stuffed into my yard. She told me that there was one plant she loved, it was the Hollyhock. They must have been special for her to even know the name of a garden plant! I planted them for her, but they haven't ever flowered.
This morning I went to the nurseries to see if anyone had Hollyhocks for sale. I suspect my mother liked the old fashioned single Hollyhocks that were around when she was younger. The pretty pinks, yellows and reds. Garden centers don't seem to carry them anymore. I'm going to look for plants or seeds. Maybe I can get them growing here and we can look at them and know she would have loved looking at them....from the house! gail
Shortly after I wrote this post an envelope arrived in the mail. Jean, Tina's mom sent me hollyhock seeds. I was so very touched. Then last fall Rose sent me seeds, too! What sweet kindness! Spring 2009!
Happy Mother's Day to all of you, your Mothers and to all the folks who've loved and nurtured us through the years.
Delightful story, Gail. Happy Mother's Day dear gardening soul sister!ReplyDelete
I like the picture with the prop tomato. lol Happy Mother's Day!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful story, Gail (and great photos, too). I've always loved the single hollyhocks and am so glad you got some! Gardeners are the best! My grandmother and great-aunt were such passionate gardeners, but I guess it skipped a generation: My mother wanted the landscape of our Colonial home to be age-appropriate but seemed to have no interest whatever beyond that. Fortunately, my brother, sister and I all love gardening!ReplyDelete
Joey, Happy Mother's Day Dear Joey...yes to the gardening soul sister! gailReplyDelete
Sweetbay, Isn't the picture perfect! I am glad you like it! I asked my Mom about it and she laughed at the memory...My dad always had a garden or some plants where ever he lived! gailReplyDelete
OFB, I'm not sure where the gardening gene came from...Possibly my dad, though we weren't raised with him. My grandparents were all urban dwellers but ...Happy Mom's Day to you and your furry babies. gailReplyDelete
I loved this story last year too. And Yeah for the hollyhocks and for mothers! I am wondering that if your mom did not garden, why is it you love it so much? :)ReplyDelete
You have a great day! We'll be out of town working-of course!
Can't wait for your hollyhocks to bloom.
Gail, such a sweet, funny memory. I have always had latent air-conditioner tendencys, but try to fight them. :) Thanks for a great Mother's Day post and I hope you have a be beautiful day!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful story. Thank you. For those of us with aging parents still in our life, it reminds us that maybe life in a retirement village is not the end--but just another chapter, albeit a short one.ReplyDelete
That's a wonderful story about your Mom Gail so beautifully written too. I missed it last year. I hope your hollyhocks bloom this year. The gardening gene is funny isn't it?? Just like the cooking one and many others. Sometimes it skips a generation. I'm glad you have it and share your gift with us. Your garden is beautiful ~ I hope you get to spend time in it today. Happy Mother's Day.ReplyDelete
Hi Gail, I distinctly remember reading this post the first time and being both touched and humored by it. I DON'T remember you mentioning single hollyhocks. They are one of my favorite flowers. I'm sure you know the are biennials and don't bloom the first year. They need full sun, too. I must not have had any seeds at the time, or I would have sent you some, too! Let's just pretend I sent you some thoughtful VIRTUAL seeds, OK? :) (I will have real ones this fall, but hopefully, so will you!)ReplyDelete
Great story! My Mother is the same way. Have a wonderful Mother's Day! -JackieReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing the memory of your Mom with us Gail. Happy Mothers day to you too.ReplyDelete
What a great memory of your Mom, thanks for sharing. Happy Mother's Day Gail! :)ReplyDelete
Monica, I remember your comment...you were the first one! I was so new then and green! Plus I really was sad! I know they're biennial...but I did plant a few plants I found later in the summer, so we are hoping! It gets more sun then some plants but maybe not as much as it needs! GailReplyDelete
What a wonderful story. Happy Mother's Day.ReplyDelete
Such a lovely post....we have something in common Gail, my Mum hates gardening to......she loves to walk my garden, and she will lend a hand sometimes.....but enjoy it, no.ReplyDelete
Rose is so sweet to send you the hollyhock seeds...but then again she is just that sort of person, so very kind.......
I must just tell you something.....I have searched everywhere for PPP....this plant is obviously not popular in the UK........BUT over the last week a plant has popped out of one of the borders, its buds have not opened.....I scatter wildflower seeds in this particular area....I wonder if it is PPP, just something about it. I may blog it this week sometime......I just hope it blooms before a rabbit eats it!! I am so excited.....I just can't wait to see what it is......
Cheryl, I so hope it's in the garden! Wouldn't that be wonderful...if not, we must find a way to get PPPP to you! Email me your address! I totally agree with you, Rose is the best of people...I am so looking forward to seeing her in person at Spring Fling...I wish we could all meet! I would love to spend time with you!ReplyDelete
My mom detested the outdoors! She was too funny!
What a great post, I love the Fun Shine Girls. Clearly your mother is still holding to her standards while learning new things! You might ask her what color the hollyhock was that she liked - she might remember - and though I hate to bring this up, double hollyhocks have been around for centuries, so you might ask if it was "fluffy" too.ReplyDelete
Thanks for a great post.
Now I'm going to have to see what this mysterious PPP plant is...
Lovely story, and what a special mum! Loved that tomato "prop"! LOLReplyDelete
Happy Mother's Day to you also, thanks for the story!ReplyDelete
Hi Gail, I remember this post well, it was one of my favorites, the way you presented your mother was so full of love, it leaks through the words. I was going to offer you hollyhocks, offspring Semi's garden is full of them, they seed all over the place but it looks like you are in good shape. May they grow and bloom well for your memories.ReplyDelete
Gail, this is an unforgettable post, and reading it again this year is wonderful. I'm with Frances. It's one of my favorites too.ReplyDelete
How sweet of Jean and Rose! I'm looking forward to the hollyhocks' bloom.
Happy Mother's Day!
Great story. Isn't it amazing how many people don't like to spend the day pulling weeds, digging holes, and hauling brush? If it weren't for the profound sense of meditation such mindless labor brings I'm sure we would all be joining your mother on the indoor scene. My wife could think of no greater pleasure for Mother's Day than to be working outside all day long. Oh, yes, I think she did go to the nursery as well... :)ReplyDelete
how cute your story of your mother...glad you got the gardening gene from somebody.ReplyDelete
hope you had a wonderful mother's day.