Francine learned everything she knew about growing things from her grandmother, who loved her dearly. Grandma Myrtle had been raised in the country and was a repository of an enormous amount of horticultural wisdom. They were very close and spent many hours in the garden together preparing the ground, planting, weeding, picking bugs off the plants, and spreading about whatever magic that successful gardeners spread about. We’ve seen Myrtle stop to admire a plant, obtain a small cutting from it and then cultivate it into a plant that would dwarf the original. When Grandma Myrtle passed away, she left hundreds of beautiful, orphaned, plants and a legacy that would stay with Francine throughout her life – her love for the practical beauty of a garden.
Francine continued to always make a garden in Myrtle’s absence, and the results were never quite as miraculous, but always hard-earned victories. In her struggle to bring the magic into it, she often mentioned missing her grandma. Tending her garden was a kind of tribute to grandma, as well as her favorite recreation and therapy. These are some pictures from around Fran’s garden in the last years…
Always wanting her happy, I helped her in her hobby. We moved a lot of earth, built fences, tilled ground, ran the hoses and sprinklers everywhere, but in the end, I had learned nothing of agronomy from her. As a result, her once beautiful garden is ruined under my watch. I’ve come to think of it as a metaphor of my life without her.
However, there appears to be life in the soil, even if the magic is completely missing now.
I’ll try again this year to grow some parsley and kale for my rabbit.
Update: July 20, 2019.
I now know why it wasn’t possible for me to maintain the garden for the last few years. It was my faulty time-perception. I may have mentioned that 2017 is mostly a blur. Little is remembered. Time was passing differently, and I saw the weeds pour into the tilled garden like the incoming tide.
Now that normal perception has returned, I can see that a garden needs constant care and weeded daily if it is going to survive the onslaught. That’s also probably a metaphor for almost everything.