My mom, Patricia, has always maintained a beautiful garden behind our house in Buffalo, NY; she tends long beds in which peonies, bee balm, fox gloves, poppies, and herbs grow in a natural mixture. She’s an art conservator: careful about colors and form. She waves her hand in a careless way across the beds and says in her careful articulation, “This is my Paoenia suffriticosa, and this Digitalis purpurea.”
“Oh?” I say. To her, I think, her garden is perhaps an intellectual exercise – a form of art that challenges and engages her mind.
To me, however, her garden is a gift of beauty. After all, the garden encourages us to notice, reflect, and enjoy. It gives us the opportunity to be surrounded with and nurtured by beauty.
I’m so glad that, on Garden Literacy, we can come together and reflect on ways that gardens and the beauty they provide us can nurture our lives as well as our communities. Most of us live such hectic and busy lives; we need a reason to pause, notice, reflect, and enjoy.
Natalie DeVaull teaches writing in New Haven, CT, lives in Hamden, and hopes to make something of her little flower bed this spring!