March usually triggers an excitedness within me for the upcoming gardening season. Turning that calendar page from February with a sigh of relief that I have survived another brutal Canadian winter! Inside me lives an eternal summer girl. If I could live in my bathing suit out in my yard, I’d be in heaven as this would mean sunshine and warm weather…my favorites!
My yard is my piece of heaven on earth and is a culmination of things I love most in way of colors, textures, tastes, smells and memories. Our lot, approximately an acre, was nothing but a house situated in the middle of a field of wheat and weeds when we moved in 28 years ago this summer. We knew little about acreage living except that it was going to be a wondrous place where our children would be able to run, play and explore to their hearts content away from the confinement and busyness of a city or town. A tranquil place for us to connect as a family and put down roots and gardening helped us bring that all to light.
Lacking the funds for equipment we worked throughout the spring, summer and falls to etch out our masterpiece mostly by hand. Weeds were replaced with grass that our kids ran on barefooted. A firepit was installed where we would gather in the evening to talk, roast marshmallow clouds and gaze at the constellations. Flowers were planted then picked by little hands and presented as loving surprises to me. And vegetables were sown mostly for the fun of my bandits to rob fresh and eat between giggles.
As our children grew so did our gardens. We have pictures of them beside beds full of lilies, dwarfed beside huge white snowball mock orange shrubs, playing in piles of poplar leaves from the trees that lined our lot and sitting stately on our ride-on lawn tractor as they carefully maneuvered their first vehicle just as their dad taught them. Birthdays ranged from the whites of winter through the oranges of fall.
Graduation pictures taken beside blue spruce and purple iris’s set off by the black tuxedo of our fun loving handsome son. Then a stunning royal blue gown with a black umbrella in a sea of green that could only be as green from the days summer rain. Which surprisingly didn’t dampen the smile or spirit of our light hearted daughter.
A family bbq in celebration of the pending wedding of our daughter, our yard dotted with pots overflowing with earthy tones in vines and foliage to be used to flank the isle where her dad would walk her to her awaiting husband to be.
How blessed are we to have taken the opportunity to create such a wonderful place for ourselves and our family simply by putting our hands and hearts to seed and soil. And, being the eternal optimist gardeners are, for many more years ahead will we be able to reap more memories in the seeds we sow each new season of our lives.
As I anxiously await the arrival of my seed order I stare out into the snow covered yard and envision it once again full of color. I can hear the birds chirping happily through the glass of the patio window, they let me know that my favorite season is not too far away.
“Go on ahead and throw some seeds of your own and somewhere between the time you arrive and the time you go, may lie a reason you were alive, but you’ll never know.”
Jackson Browne, For a Dancer