Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What if Country Gardens were more about Friends than Flowers?

Albert County had its first annual garden tour on Saturday, featuring a number of gardens in Hopewell Cape. It was an idea long overdue.

One of those featured was actually my former garden. It was like meeting an old friend who has matured since you last saw her.


I walked about familiar beds and marveled at the size of my Polaris and Snow Pavement rose bushes, the profusion of honeysuckle vine and the way the tiny old fashioned rose sprig I’d transplanted before I left was vigorously climbing the arbour swing.


As I wandered, I remembered Jamie, who gave me the humongous hostas and Aiko, who contributed the lady’s mantle and yellow loosestrife that have gone on to decorate so many other gardens. The veronica and lilies came from Nancy; sedum and iris from Dot; phlox from Janet. The maple tree was one my husband dug from the forest. It had grown into a fine specimen – perhaps something the new owners will use as a backdrop for photos someday.

My garden was like a collection of memory, friendships and love.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the backyards of my former neighbours, as well, and wondered why, in the 15 years I’d lived there, I’d never taken the time to visit them. It made me feel a little sad - to think of the missed opportunities; the missed friendships and sharing.

The gardens of Hopewell Cape are, indeed, quite lovely – many of them messy, unruly country gardens that don’t mind a weed or two. Just the way I like them.

They flow around heritage homes and newer constructions; some incorporate ‘discovered’ treasures, others are decorated with purchased ‘finds’, but they share one thing in common. Each is as unique and colourful as its owner. Each is a small plot of flowers that evolved and expanded with time and diligence, illuminating the personality and passion of its caretaker. I feel like I know each of my neighbours much better now.


And I’ve made a promise to myself to start visiting the backyard of my new neighbours. No more missed friendships. What better investment of my time?

2 comments:

John Ackerson said...

My partner Gwen and I have often asked the same questions regarding the state of things in our world - what if...? or, wouldn't it be nice if...?

It's great to see an awareness developing where you are in Albert County! Lets hope it spreads far and wide!

As well, beautiful photos, and thoughtful sentiments!

Diane said...

what a beautiful post. Yes, you make such a great point with your closing thoughts. Since my mother died, I think much more about those people we don't take the time to touch more often, if at all.

Diane
Alberta Postcards