Memories -- and Escapes -- in the Garden

Some of my earliest memories are of gardening with my mother. She worked spring and summer at a garden center when I was little and kept a lovely garden. I was treated to a yard full of snapdragons, coral bells, iris, roses, gloriosa daisies, tiger lilies, dinner-plate-sized dahlias and always tons of petunias and tulips.

Her fern and hosta bed was wonderful. She taught me the common names of most of her plants as well as the botanical names. Gardening in my own yard evokes memories of many experiences I had as a child, gardening alongside my mother.

Gardening has also touched me therapeutically. A few years ago I was going through a divorce after a long marriage. I bought the little house I now live in and set about gardening and landscaping. This was my escape from the pain and stress I felt. I came home from work and buried myself in my garden. It was quiet, calm and utterly nurturing -- mindless work that I could lose myself in and completely lose track of time. Hours later I would come up for air and I'd feel whole.

Lastly, I love the beauty of a garden. The soft colors, varying textures and smells in a garden allow me to imagine for a moment that all the world is in perfect order.

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