the everlasting garden in my mind

strawflower-garden memorial weekend

spring has been late to come in pittsburgh this year \ perhaps an aftereffect of our polar vortex winter / the poppy, iris, indigofera & rhododendron in my garden are not yet in bloom this memorial day weekend \ so unusual since they are typically the first to provide color to our surroundings along with the bleeding heart, columbine, clematis & hyacinth <now long gone>

i used to be an avid gardener but these past few years, my attention has been diverted to more fulfilling pursuits \ thus my gardens have been left to thrive on their own / i have a democratic gardening attitude \ even if a growth is called a “weed,” i let it flourish if its form, texture, color or scent pleases / and so only when the garden becomes overran with prickly thistle weeds do i intervene \ and that is the extent of my involvement in my garden’s life

but this weekend i was inspired to do much more to my outdoor & indoor gardens \ the summer blooming buddleias that need to be cut down to the ground in spring got their trimming / i cleaned up the remains of my beloved lavenders \ they did not survive the winter / though perhaps they had long been gone, i just hadn’t noticed \ i cleaned up last season’s remains of purple coneflowers & gauras <the workhorses of my garden> knowing that once again this summer they will be back / another bright spot – what used to be a twig is now a young corkscrew willow tree \ flanked by the reliable boxwoods, there is no need for any more companion plants where they are

inside, my house used to resemble a greenhouse / before this morning, it sadly housed withered jasmines, gardenias & scheffleras <my all-time favorite indoor plants> \ even the unkillable pothos & other “house plants” looked wasted & forlorn / the glass terrarium lifeless since before i had a teenager in the house is now finally in the basement <i do remember this because it fit as a halloween decoration the first time & so it remained for a couple more halloweens> \ only the sturdiest remained: the rubber plant, my oldest & tallest schefflera, the snake & lemon plants and dracaenas in the entryway & one other pothos

a garden, no matter what, will thrive season after season \ it can look different from year to year, it may not look the prettiest, but it lives on / sometimes it can surprise, sprouting the unexpected plant with delicate blue or white flowers from seeds sown by some unknown agent or some long forgotten bulb \ it marks time & memories just like a favorite nagging music or song / it is best of all a symbol and a metaphor for life, renewal, hope & continuity

my favorite young person wishes for the strawflower like the ones that i hang to dry some years ago \ we call it “everlasting” in the philippines & it is made into garlands to adorn the altar & santos at home  / it will keep its color & shape indefinitelyyes it would be nice to have them this year

this post is dedicated to my siblings

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