Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Spring arrived recently in South Carolina with all the flowering trees, the Daffodils, the Iris, and so many other beautiful flowering shrubs.

I had forgotten how much I delighted over the years in plants we could not have in Florida and memories that go back to my grandmother’s garden – she had amazing Tulips and as a child I couldn’t understand how anything so pretty did not have a scent.

Throughout the years I planted and worked in many gardens. I had vegetable gardens when my children were little. When we moved to a house with an inground swimming pool we had a magnificent backyard with roses, and lilacs, and more with a deck that was the envy of the neighborhood. There wasn’t one square inch that was not planted or decorated.

Our family fell apart, the children’s father died, and I sold the house. My children with the exception of my daughter, were old enough to be on their own and for the next several years it was apartment living and hanging plants.

Time passed and there were more gardens and a move to Costa Rica where the foliage and the plants were eye candy.

Fast forward to meeting my sweet Larry. He and I planted down the side of our house and into the back yard of our home in Indiana and when the first warm days came we would be out there looking for new shoots, new growth, new buds.

When we decided to move to Florida it was a tropical delight for us. For over 15 years we had a beautiful yard filled with flowers in the ground and in large pots. The backyard was a tropical escape from reality and something was in bloom every month of the year.

After Larry had his open heart surgery we planted the rest of the yard and turned it into his healing garden. He tended that patch of land as if he were a professional landscape artist. We had over 30 trees of various different sizes, and everything was Florida friendly. Bouquets of fresh flowers filled vases indoors, and the house was filled with beauty.

The last Saturday of his life he trimmed all the bushes to encourage new growth and promised me he would clean every thing up – that never happened, and I had to hire someone to do it because Larry was not ever going to be gardening again.

I gave up on gardens after Larry died. My heart wasn’t in it, and today when I was actually thinking about how this yard needs some color I came across his watering can. It was what he used to fertilize the rose bushes he planted just for me.

The last words Larry ever said to me were: “I am going out to feed the roses and when I come back in I will have another glass of wine with you.”

When he walked back in he set that watering can down on a table, he tried to speak to me, he couldn’t and I flew to catch him as he slipped into unconsciousness and I knew this was a critical stroke.

After he died I ripped out the rose bushes. I couldn’t even look at them, and I would never plant roses again.

I left that watering can on the table until I moved from that house. Today when I looked at it I saw it was damaged, and it had been lying in the dirt in the back yard and I picked it up and took it to the recycling can. I put it in there and continued to clean up the yard when suddenly I burst into tears and ran to reclaim it, you see it is the last thing Larry touched, it was his and his energy was on the handle of that can.

I am going to plant some wildflowers in it and put it on my front porch, damaged and all.

There must be gardens in heaven and I am sure Larry is tending one with love and to honor our love I will plant a garden.


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