It’s the time of year when many gardens reach their peak – and even grow a little bit wild. That has made one essayist’s loss all the more painful. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Karen Kelly remembers a special garden:
It’s the time of year when many gardens reach their peak –
and even grow a little bit wild. That has made one essayist’s loss all the more painful.
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Karen Kelly remembers a special garden:
It looked like a crime scene.
Everything in the garden was gone.
The morning glories no longer crowded the sidewalk. Sunflowers were cut down in their
prime. There was a hole instead of the lilac. And one stubby trunk – where someone had
hacked off the sand cherry tree.
We started the garden just over a year ago. I found out I was pregnant and next thing I
know, my husband is incubating black-eyed susans on top of the refrigerator.
He seemed to have that nesting instinct. Suddenly, he was spending every weekend at
the nursery. He came home with tools and soil and plants and even trees.
The scraggly yard in front of our apartment building was being transformed.
For me, it was just what I needed – a patch of nature in the middle of the city.
This summer, the flowers came back. And we shared the garden with our 6 month old.
We were pointing out the buds on the trees, and the bees buzzing around.
We didn’t tend it much as we got ready to move. And it grew pretty wild.
There were flowers, but also grass and weeds.
Two weeks after we moved, all that life was torn up. Eleven different kinds of plants – all
carefully chosen and tended. We visited them every time we walked in or out of the
I can’t imagine the person who could just rip flowers out of the ground. It was a tiny,
imperfect oasis. Now, it’s just dirt.
Ironically, the only thing that survived was a plum tree we planted on the city property –
between the sidewalk and the road. We thought city workers might pull it up – since it
wasn’t official. Instead, they plunked an iron gate around it and now, every week, a city
truck comes to water it.
We always laugh about how it survived its brush with the city officials.
Now, that tree has proved it really is a survivor – but all that perennial color that was
once a backdrop to it is gone. It was not just a bit of our past, but an investment in the
future as well.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Karen Kelly.