Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Grandmother's Garden

Last year I wrote a post about the reblooming of my grandmother's first garden. Discovering the garden was such a profound moment in my life, I needed to share it. I'm sure no one will be surprised to learn I had to take the blog entry down due to spam comments. Why they found that blog so attractive, I'll never fathom.

This summer seeds harvested from those amazing plants have sprouted and are growing and gaining strength in my garden, and I can barely refrain from hopping up and down with glee. I decided it was time to share the story once more, and hope you'll forgive me for not allowing comments to this post. - KC

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A Precious Legacy




July 11, 2010

I have faded memories of the old log cabin on the other side of the creek, the one my grandparents ‘went to house keeping’ in back in 1930. Abandoned by my grandparents when they built a brick home in 1940, the dark logs with their white chinking had almost disappeared when I was a girl, hidden by the poplar grove that sprang up in the old front yard. When I was about eight, my granddad hooked a chain on the old Allis Chalmers tractor, and pulled the cabin down lest one of his grandchildren come to harm playing in its shadow. From 1965 to 2007, the forest laid claim to the property, shrouding it with grapevines, and a carpet of ferns.

Being an only child, in a family of mostly only children, makes for some very close ties. My cousins and I act more like brothers and sister than some blood siblings do. When the subject was broached that one among the third generation was interested in the old lot, there was no need for discussion. All of us grand-kids are established with our own homes, on property given us by our grandparents (yes, we’re all neighbors and have been for almost thirty years). We welcomed the chance to honor the spirit of our grandparents, and pass the old property to one of the great-grand-kids who would care for it. Clearing began in 2007, and the new, modern house was completed in 2008, built on the exact spot where the cabin stood so many years ago.

Little did I know the treasure that would surface this year when I paid a visit to my young cousin. I strolled down my lane, hopped the creek, and walked across a carpet of grass where a few short years ago, wild ferns grew. Being family, I went around the corner of the house with the intent of using the kitchen door. What I saw stopped me dead in my tracks.

The entire length of the backyard, where lawn met the woods, was awash with pink, purple, and white foxgloves, yellow coreopsis, white daisies, pink columbine, and red sweet Williams. What sprawled before me was my grandmother’s first garden. I plopped down on the porch step, and cried.

All those seeds, dormant in the good earth for decades, had fulfilled the promise of sun and rain, sprouted and grown, and now bloomed. I marveled at the miracle, even as I berated myself for not visiting my young cousin at the right time last year. But things happen for a reason, and last year the foxglove would not have bloomed yet, and I might not have noticed what I've been assured was only a few daisies.

I’ve since transplanted roots and harvested seeds. Come fall, I’ll move more roots to my own garden, increasing my chances of good growth in the spring. I will cast the seeds back onto the earth, and watch for seedlings in the coming years, a precious legacy unknowingly left by a woman who loved her only granddaughter well.

KC Kendricks
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