A Good Home

In the Garden

I hoist my grandbaby onto my left hip, cane grasped with my right hand, and stroll through the garden.  I stop and show her each plant, sometimes calling them by name. She reaches out to grab a flower, and inspects it up-close.

Meandering is a lovely word. Better than strimping, that word my mischievous husband made up to describe my fervent attempts to stride while limping. One of these days, he will probably settle on “mimp” to describe my meandering style, but until then, I’ll meander.

July is the time of plenty, my garden’s multicolour month. Flowers bloom abundantly — in several shades and colours.  Clematis vines flower in pink or purple.  Daylilies bloom in pink, peach, orange, red and creamy yellow. 

Blog Photo - September 2018 Lovely Backyard tree to woods

So many flowers to show her on our July meander, that I sometimes settle for calling them “leaf” and “flower”.

July’s colourful phlox are mostly faded now, their flower-heads exhausted. Vibrant pink and salmon blooms are turning brown in August.  Once-upright flower stems bend over from the weight and heat.  

August is usually a serious month.  Garden chores ignored in the sunny days of July demand attention — the deadheading, the dividing, the transplanting, the watering. August signals both the fading of the colours and the end of play.

Each year, I treasure spring flowers especially because they are new. Now I treasure my late summer ones largely because they are few. 

Last week, I noticed that the red bee balm still bloomed in one part of the back garden, near the birdfeeder.  The birds above are more numerous now, but the bee balm flower-heads below have fewer petals, their colour less brilliant.  Hummingbirds, bees and butterflies still visit though. The leaves are still green.

The August garden is greener, softer, the colours more muted during the day, the shapes of leaves more pronounced.

Blog Photo - Garden August - White Phlox and Garden Bench

Flower stems now removed (‘deadheaded’), hosta’s leaves are no longer overshadowed. Gone are the lavender blooms which caught the eye the moment we entered the garden.

Blog Photo - Late Summer Garden Hosta and J Maple

Now, as we meander, I point at large leaves, small leaves, pointy leaves. Glossy dark green, green edged with white.  My granddaughter looks at each intently and, as always, I wonder what she is thinking.

What do green leaves mean to a  nine month old baby?

Blog Photo - Garden August - Yellow Canna Lilies

In the back garden, yellow and coral canna lilies still thrive in their pots. Soon they will be the main sources of colour there.

The frontyard relies on various shades of green and white for ‘colour’.

Blog Photo - Garden August - Front garden

The light, sweet scent of white trumpet-shaped flowers greets us as we enter. 

Blog Photo - White Hosta Group

These are the most aromatic of all our hosta flowers. To walk by them in a slight breeze is to bathe in fragrance.

Blog Photo - Late summer garden hosta white fragrant CU2

At one side of this garden, the caryopteris shrub has tiny blossoms. Across the driveway, in another bed,  the sedum plants already have buds. 

My granddaughter and I will meander through the garden on good-weather days till cold weather settles in. I will point to the sedum blossoms that will by then become sturdy pink flowers, to  caryopteris’ wispy flowers forming a mist of blue.

Blog Photo - Late Summer garden blue flowers of caryopteris

Together, we will watch butterflies and bees taking a late-summer sip of nectar from both.  I will then feel – Deo volente — as I do now, triply blessed. To be alive, to have a loving family and to be able to walk with my grandchild in the garden.

~~

45 thoughts on “In the Garden”

  1. Lovely! After reading your post, I realized that what I needed was to strimp around my sister’s garden before returning home to the stress. Thanks for sharing your garden pictures and taking me out of my own head today!

  2. You know the very word MEANDERING holds special meaning for me. You have put it in motion within a beautiful garden and in the precious company of your granddaughter. The meanderings of life, love, laughter, journeys and thoughts are enhanced when done in a garden.

      1. Hydrangeas are harder for me to root for some reason. I get lots of new ones through layering, because I don’t rake my leaves in the fall, but it is hard for me to get them going in a glass of water.

        Gardenias are an entire different story. They love to grow roots in the vase of water. 🙂

  3. What a wonderful garden tour, filled with beauty, color, love, and blessings. Your gardens look fantastic to me and I’m happy to know you can meander and share them with your granddaughter. Maybe she’ll catch the gardening bug too! Thanks for sharing your garden goodness with us Cynthia. 🌺❤

  4. What a beautifully written journey through your garden creating wonderful memories with your granddaughter! I read every word and enjoyed every one of them. Next year you will be holding her hand as the two of you meander! Miss your classes~

  5. Oh, this is such a beautiful meditation on the passing of the seasons as life and love remain constant. I hope you will save this photo essay for your granddaughter when she’s older. I can’t imagine a more precious gift from a grandmother.

  6. I meander with my greyhounds daily, I don’t see many leaves through their eyes – other, less beautiful things. Your garden looks wonderful and the images capture the beauty. Love the Beebalm, it must need Canada to look like that.

  7. Thank you for sharing this delightful meandering meditation with us, Cynthia. What a joy! Such a beautiful haven to share with your baby granddaughter 😊

  8. Your garden shots always make me want to come over, take a stroll while sipping tea and chatting with you. Meandering is a gorgeous word. You just keep it up . . . you’re teaching the younger generation something invaluable:). XXOO

  9. Your gardens are a delight to the eye, and soothing balm for the soul, Cynthia! They have a vibrancy about them that comes through in the photos, and in your description of your meanderings through them. I can smell the damp morning green, and the flowers, and a muted green in hot afternoon sun. And was does a green leaf mean to a 9 month old baby? At such a young age, everything is new, to be inspected visually and by tactile methods, scents and sounds of birdsong, insects, frogs, and wildlife passing through. Children see the world through fresh eyes. Your time with Vivian there amid the peace and tranquility of such beauty will stay with her, a most precious gift, your time together in the garden.

  10. Cynthia, your garden is so, so lovely. I’m sure your little one is ecstatic with all those colors and shapes! Thanks for the walk about.
    BTW, kudos to you for “Twigs in My Hair.” I’m hardly a gardener (but a great appreciator of those who can and do), and I just loved it. It is truly beautifully written. I lent it to my neighbor to read as well; she also thought it was just wonderful.You are a gifted writer!

  11. Most of the flowers in my yard haven’t bloomed at all this year so it’s lovely to see how your garden has blossomed Cynthia. What does a leaf mean to a baby, probably something beyond words that we have forgotten!

  12. Oh your garden is looking splendid, Cynthia, and no doubt it gives you comfort and strength during those hard times. I think I’d have gone crazy without mine this year. Congrats on the arrival of your granddaughter, I missed that event – she’s got one of the best grannys in the world. Hope this whole nightmare we’re living through won’t traumatise the children too much. I trust in their reslience. When I see the poor babes masked because of our reckless politicians it breaks my heart. Bon courage as they say here and let’s hope the people will wake up in time and make something good out of all the evil. Best wishes and don’t stop smiling 🙂

  13. Thank you for taking us along on this garden meander with your granddaughter, Cynthia. Blessings abound in God’s living room, especially when enjoyed through a baby’s eyes of wonder!

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