this post was written in response to a prompt from Gayla Trail and her gardening site, “You Grow Girl.”
i’ve spent a lot of time lately mentally apologizing to my mom.
i’ll be reading a book, perusing a magazine, walking across the yard, and it flashes across my head. “sorry, mom,” often with a rueful shake of the head at my inadequacy.
and not over the usual things – clothes, boys, life choices, credit card bills and the always-tricky “who could you possibly have been on the phone with – for an hour – at 4am?” that comes part and parcel with a family share phone plan. (fortunately, that one hadn’t come up in years.)
no, i’m sitting here eating my words over coreopsis. and buddleia. and periwinkles. maybe the occasional miscanthus. because the simple truth is that my mom and i always had a fundamental disagreement over the garden and its appeal as an all-you-can-eat buffet to the herd of deer that cross it twice a day.
i wanted things that are pretty.
she wanted things that would last longer than the first afternoon.
and, with the obstinacy that only comes from a mother-daughter relationship, i remained convinced that none of her suggestions could possibly satisfy us both. especially since, buddleia aside, my mom had a preference for evergreen plants that i never cottoned on to, leaving me perpetually convinced that any suggestion of hers would involve bark and needles and not much else. simple perusals of garden catalogs become fronts on our cold war, as i pointed out beautiful photographs of daylillies and tulips and she shook her head and said in a flat voice: “not. negotiable.”
for so many reasons, i wish my mom could see my order list so far this spring:
- coreopsis moonbeam
- miscanthus morning light
- joseph cline monarda
- echinacea purpurea
- dragon’s blood seedum
- vinca minor periwinkle
and the garden going in around my pond, which we’ve taken to calling the “memorial garden,” because she promised me that she would wait for me in the flowers.
only she hated yarrow.