Friday, May 20, 2011


Two weeks before we were married we were driving through a woodland road and we dug some ferns and a magnolia and dogwood tree from Father's woods. They were placed in the back yard of the home in preparation for further garden work. For twenty years they have been early-spring cheerfuls, adding to our joy and helping us pass it on to others in the early blooming dogwood and the fragrant magnolias through a long season. Hundreds of people have had the flowers from our largest magnolia tree. We always have some in the home and when anyone admires them, we share them.

We seldom take a trip in the car or otherwise that we do not pick a bunch and take them with us. There is always an abundance and enough are left on the trees to form red berries or seed and make feasts for the birds. We added a new magnolia tree each year until we had a dozen or more. We dug them from the upland and placed them north of the house for they need partial shade. Every summer is a magnolia summer for us and our friends. They are so woven into our lives that we sometimes leave them for calling cards and our friends know who has been there, if they are away.

Twenty years ago, after the June wedding, we found a bunch of daffodils the size of a dinner plate in the hardy border. They had been planted by my grandmother when the house was new. We dug them up and put them into the dark woodhouse until fall and then the trouble began! "The man" said, "there is enough to plant the place!" He planted and planted and we gave bulbs away.

The next spring and for nineteen years our yard has looked better than a gold mine to me. We pick and give the lovely things away to friends, sick and well, to hospitals, churches, golden weddings. And there are always enough left to make passers-by exclaim.

Before the old year is out, my husband digs some of the bulbs which are starting under ground and we place them in bowls of water, held up by stones, put them in a sunny window and they bloom in a short time. These make delightful winter gifts. He digs the bulbs periodically and we have them blooming in the home all the time in cold weather.

I wish I could tell of our memory garden, its joy to us and its joy to other, though only a small part could be put on paper.

Shakespeare counsels, "No day without a deed to crown it," and if giving away flowers, bulbs and roots can be classed as a "deed" then we have scarcely a day without one.

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