Gram's Garden

 

I remember a patio embraced by a pear tree and a plum tree and three camellias, one pink, one red, one white. I would play with the other children in my grandmother's small day care center on the green painted paving stone patio surrounded by low rock walls softened by campanula, with its blue bells, and baby's tears, with shiny tiny green leaves. Above, hanging baskets cascaded with pink, red, and white trailing fuchsias. In spring and summer, every meal in warm weather was al fresco on the old picnic table. The pear blossoms in spring would garnish the tablecloth. A cushioned wooden chaise loungue gave me a comfortable place to read for hours. Fuchsias And always, Gram in motion: planting, nurturing, in her jeans and an old shirt, her small glass greenhouse neatly organized with trays of seedlings, her garden weedless and luscious with prize-winning begonias and hybrid tea roses, apricot, clear yellow, red and pink, geraniums and petunias and neat rows of lettuces and green onions, tomatoes heavy with fruit, all mixed together. Her chrysanthemums were as tall as I, and as an adult, Chrysanthemum bouquet I looked and looked for those tall chrysanthemums for my first garden before realizing that their height had been relative to my own.

Gram involved herself in my school, which was a block away, by sending glorious bouquets of flowers with me to my teachers, and by running a plant booth for the yearly fun fair. A succession of children passed through her day care center, and I wonder if any of them (Sally? Sandra? Trisha? Mike and Bob?) later became dedicated gardeners.

Anyone who came to visit got a tour of the garden - a mere 50X80 or so in a neighborhood near Seattle's Green Lake - and would leave with "slips" (cuttings) of plants: African violets, hardy fuchsias, roses ... and a bouquet of anything in bloom.

Gram's garden with Green Lake beyond
Gram's garden with Green Lake beyond

 

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