Glory's Garden

All the world's a garden, you know, and we are mere flowers within it. Come, I'll show you!

Don't get any funny ideas!

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My Peeps!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Guest post #3 by Conny Manero

My true story: Gardening with my son  

In the weeks following my divorce, my once neatly tended garden turned into a near jungle.  The grass stood at least a foot high, flowerbeds were overgrown with weeds, while the whole place had a dry, deserted look to it.  Standing in front of the window one morning, I saw two of my neighbors huddled together, looking at my garden, talking, shaking their heads with disapproval.  I knew my garden was a mess, but then, so was I.
Even though the marriage hadn't been the happiest one, and I should have been relieved that the
fighting was finally over, I felt sad and desolate. When we married we had loved each other so much,
we had been together for nearly twenty years, what had happened to us? What had turned us from lovers into enemies?

Five years into the marriage we had bought a house in a newly developed area. The house itself was beautiful, but the garden was atrocious. By any stretch of the imagination it couldn't even be called a garden, it was a piece of land, completely barren. Over the years we had planted and sowed, weeded and watered, until at last our garden was the envy of the neighborhood. Ans now look at it, a shadow of its former glorious self.

"Mom, we have to do something," my fifteen year old son said halfway through May. "We can't have the place looking like this. Let's clean up the garden and plant some things. Everyone has tulips and narcissus and those purple flowers--what are they called again?"

"Irises?"

"Right, irises and we have nothing."

"The garden is a mess, honey," I said. "Nothing will grow there now."

"Then let's clean it up," he said. "We'll do it together."

I wanted to. I wanted the garden to look nice again, but it seemed like such an enormous job and I didn't feel up to it. I didn't feel up to anything. Some days it was an effort just to get showered and dressed.

Seeing his anxious face

Seeing his anxious face, I agreed to the job, but I wondered how the two of us were going to manage turning that wilderness into anything halfway decent looking. That grass was so tall and there were so many weeds. It was going to take weeks to get everything done.

 “Don’t look at the whole thing,” Dieter said when we were outside.  “Pick a flowerbed and concentrate on that, I’ll get started on the grass.  Whatever we don’t finish today, we’ll finish tomorrow.”

So I did.  I got a bucket and a trowel out of the garage and got started with a flowerbed nearest to the house.  As I dug, Dieter mowed.

It was hard dealing with just that one flowerbed, but seeing Dieter so hard at work I knew I had to keep going.  We were going to do this together he’d said, so I had to do my share.  After a while I found that I started to enjoy myself.  Smelling the scent of fresh cut grass and feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin was a welcome change to watching TV all day.

At noon the motor of the lawnmower fell silent. When I looked I noticed that a good portion of the grass had been cut.

Done for the day?" I asked Dieter.

"Time for lunch," he said. "Aren't you hungry? I am."

As a matter of fact I was hungry, which was also a change. More often than not I skipped lunch because I didn't feel the need to eat.

"You got a lot done," I said over cheese and tomato sandwiches.
"So did you," Dieter said. "That flower bed is starting to look good."

"It's just soil," I shrugged. "Without flowers it's not even a flower bed."

"For now yes," he said. "But we could go to the garden center and get some flowers."

I nodded. "We could."

"Do you want to take a nap or shall we carry on?" he asked, putting our plate into the sink.

"Let's carry on," I said, and found that I was actually looking forward to going outside again. "I want to finish that patch today."

Everyday we did a little and once all the grass was cut, Dieter joined me at the flower beds. Some days we only worked an hour, some days we worked the morning, and some days--when Dieter was back at school--I found myself working alone.

I can't say that I went through the days singing, but I did get up in the morning with more enthusiasm. I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner because I had an appetite again, and at night I slept like a log.

At the garden center I bought roses, dahlias, asters and daisies, freesias, gladiolus and my all-time favorites violets.

There had been a time when I couldn't stand the sight of violets, when their cheerful faces mocked me and I much preferred the company of a weeping willow. Not anymore, now I was attracted to violets again, and I was going to plant them on either side of the driveway. They were my "Welcome home" flowers.

Sometime in June I was outside watering the roses when one of my neighbors came outside and smiled. "Looking good, my dear," she said. "You and Dieter have preformed a near miracle. You really brought that garden back to life."

As I glanced over the trees, shrubs and flowers I noticed the violets bobbing their yellow and purple faces in unison.

I felt good, for the first time in a long time I actually felt like my old self again. I wondered, had Dieter and I brought this garden back to life, or had they brought me back?


 Conny Manero is an accomplished author of several novels one of which she has devoted to "Saving the Kitties!"  and she writes about everyday life in her blog Under the Toronto Sun.

2 comments:

  1. What a wonderful story! Dieter was wise beyond his years. Very nicely done. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for featuring Dieter and me Glory. I feel so honored that you like my story enough to include it in your blog. :-)

    ReplyDelete

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