Rain drops sit on the iris.
Birds sing melodies.
Sweet aromas fill the air.
These things renew my spirit
on this beautiful Sunday morning.
For many gardeners it's a labor of love. What started as a blank slate with only dirt and weeds has become a retreat of labor and love. Each year my garden has grown. The iris shown above are heirloom from my grandmother's garden and every spring when they bloom I feel her presence. These are tall with small light purple blooms. I have collected other colors that bloom early, mid and late season, but the purples from my grandmother's garden are special. Iris are extremely hardy. I have divided them out in the late fall and put them in areas with nothing more and a tamping into the soil with my foot and have been rewarded with more blooms. The take very little water and care. It's a wonder they provide such lovely blooms with so much neglect.
The roses were a mother's day gift from my husband and children many years ago. There were six different rose bushes that came with dirt, fertilizer and mulch. We spent a wonderful weekend together making the bed and planting the roses. My favorite in that group is the dark coral rose that I don't remember the real name for because I call it Casey's bush because my son picked that one for me. Building a bed of roses together has to be one of my best memories ever. A little later in the season there will be a native rose that has the tiniest of blooms on it. It climbs up and over our privacy fence. I bought it at a native plant nursery in Wichita Falls, Texas when my mother was hospitalized there for several weeks. She told me about the wonderful nursery and because of that I associate the tiny roses with her. I enjoy the ease of roses also. I prefer the small leafed varieties that are less prone to black spot. They too are drought tolerent and hardy once established. I have drip hoses in the beds that make a weekly watering easy.
I slowly added more beds and sitting areas to my garden over a couple of decades. Each rock in the borders was carried in by hand and placed in specific spots. There are rocks from the family farm, vacations and the country roads where I grew up. There are also rocks small enough to fit in the palm that my little children (now grown) and their children have handed me with love. There are also some very small stones given to me from my son at the end of a hard days work. When he was pretty young he worked for a water department and sometimes was in deep earthen holes. On days that the holes were uncomfortably deep and unstable he would feel on the floor of his pit for a small smooth stone and rub it until he could climb out again. I love that he put his fears in those stones and when the fears were gone he put them in my garden.
The garden is a peaceful place for many of us. What does your garden do for you?