She told me all about the plants and flowers, but I also learned about life.

Garden Walks and Memories

I remember most the reverence of walking with my grandma around her garden. She knew all of their names and talked about each one as if they were a personal friend.

“This one is a show-off,” she mused. “Her large round cluster of flowers teases you with pink and blue petals.”

I think of Grandma’s wrinkled hands, warm smile, and lessons as I check my newly planted hydrangea. Nothing showy yet, but I’ve learned that we all bloom in our own time.

Cannas and Daylilies

I watched her separate the daylily bulbs, explaining that they needed more space and room to be themselves.

yellow and orange daylily

My Canna Lilies have naturalized and promise a splendid display. We all need to have that sense of belonging.

canna lily with orange and yellow with green shrubs in the background

Seeds—Miracles in Motion

“The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.” Gertrude Jekyll

I watched as she gently placed the seeds in the ground. This is where I learned patience and not to lose hope. This year I’m trying my hand at planting Red Flax, Coreopsis, and Daisy seeds. Patience pays off.

red flax seedlings agains brown pine needles

Roses, Thorns, and Bees

“Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.” Richard Brinsley Sheridan.”

My grandma’s roses always seemed like these daring, wild things that hung to the fences daring you to touch their thorns. She let them be, but the bees never minded the thorns. Those rose stood solid and independent.

pink roses against an iron fence

Lantana Neighbors

I kept hoping to move the Confetti Lantana because it crowds the azaleas nearby. They don’t care what I think and have learned to live harmoniously next to one another like good neighbors.

close up of lantana with pink and yellow flowers with green leaves

My grandmother taught me the simplicity of love, caring for one another, and the gifts of nature. In my mind, she still joins me on my garden walks every morning as I continue to learn what only plants, bugs, and animals, large and small, can teach.

“Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.” Allan Armitage

I wonder what messages my garden will share tomorrow. I will listen to the small whispers of the plants and Grandma.

And always—

Be kind. Be brave. Be you.

Photos: Kathryn LeRoy