A Tisket, a Basket…

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“A-tisket, a-tasket, A Garden Corner hanging basket…” I half hum my variation of the nursery rhyme dazedly to my whimpering child as we work our way down the pathway. She is once again utterly convinced that she is indeed not tired and is in no way, shape or form ready for a nap. I take one more lap past the large fountain, carefully avoiding the nails that hold our trusty walkway down to avoid even the slightest jostle. Within seconds, those eyes drop heavily, and the telltale fluttering between sleep and awake vanishes. 

The stroller gets pushed gently for another moment, ensuring the baby is truly asleep. Once my suspicion is confirmed, I rush half-haphazardly back to my little corner of an office. I have very few worries that the infant will awaken as we bounce down the road. Once she is napping, the whole world could shake and she would still sleep soundly; however, my timer has started. I have calculated precisely to the minute that I barely have enough time to finish my next project – assuming there are no distractions. Even though, I am well aware, there are always distractions. 

Sometimes, that next project is getting another cup of coffee and drinking it while it is still hot. Maybe I could pull a few weeds. Or jot down a few ideas for an article. Other times, we load up quickly and head out to check on spring baskets (status update- they are growing well!) More often than not, I am rushing to get new products ready before that initial wail reaches my ears, crossing my fingers that I can get one more load of plants ready to put onto tables.

The entire time, I am simply ecstatic that she can sleep so peacefully. How I long for an afternoon nap! Thankfully, throughout this tumultuous balancing act, I have the best village at my disposal. Most pre-nap walks are administered by my mother. Grandma comes and sweeps the sleepy one away for a bonding quiet time so I can have a few extra focused minutes of work. When I need to eat lunch, Opa is there, pacing back and forth and answering the phone with the little one in tow. Some of you have been fortunate enough to hear a certain set of lungs cooing in the background over the phone or in person. 

Watching her grow with The Garden Corner, even just over these short four months, has become one of my favorite pastimes. She seems to blossom with the coming of spring; the plants around her simply reflect her generally happy disposition. They almost appear to leaf out just for her. This special time has allowed me to reflect upon my happy childhood. 

I have the fondest memories of “Grandma’s garden” and “Oma’s fresh fruit.” Very specific plants can instantly trigger a flashback. The smell of jasmine, the bright yellow blooming tulips, and even the sound of a mower cutting the lawn remind me of my younger days. Hunting around for secret treasures that could be found, perhaps a frog, or a fresh egg. Allowing my imagination to run wild as I pretended to survive the harsh, harsh wilderness, only to be called in for lunch. Many of my core moments are grounded in their yards. 

In my experience, the garden is often a very easy place to connect with our past. A fellow Rebel Gardener called just the other day, asking if we would have the specific red flower that her grandma always had in her window. After a few probing questions, we were happy to discover that the red bloom belonged to a geranium that we would certainly be able to connect her with. The happiness it brought her is something I am blessed to experience every day at work. 

As I watch my child dream peacefully, I can only imagine how my daughter may have memories of the yards that belong to her grandmothers. She already has spent countless hours watching Grandma carefully tend to her yard. Pulling weeds, trimming heuchera, and laying fresh soil, the little one is never far out of reach. This year, we will have to hunt for something very unique to put in Grandma’s garden -perhaps a hanging basket?

As a particular holiday approaches (it comes early every May), I encourage us to think of the plants that remind us of not just Moms, but any individual who held a special role. If you can, give them a plant, to say, “This reminded me of you.” If not, give yourself a plant, so that every time you gaze upon that distinctive something, you are reminded of someone just as wonderful. In my life, I have found that plants are the key to reminding us of very important people who helped us grow.

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