I hit the road Friday morning and drove to my parent’s house to spend a long weekend. Although I felt a little sad leaving all the children home with Rich, I knew that it was important for me to get away for a *body mind and soul* rest away from the endless rewarding yet sometimes quite stressful jobs of parent and housekeeper.
A retreat to Mom and Dad’s house was just the place of peace and relaxation for me.
We had a chilly but invigorating walk on Saturday morning. But before we went up the road, Mom and I put on our necessary rubber boots and meandered about the gardens to see what was coming up.
Mom has extensive flower beds; she absolutely LOVES gardening and has over 45 years of experience growing things. She knows where everything is and where everything came from and delights in the many surprises gardening holds, too. Volunteer plants show up all over the place. She knows when she weeds she has to be careful, but not too terribly careful, because then in one of those fun surprises, the flowers will transplant down the bank where she throws the weeds. And that’s a smile just waiting to happen.
pink and salmon hyacinths
The only one we saw.
(I have a small patch of them in my garden, too; does anyone know the name? I forgot.)
Aunt Rita started planting them here years and years ago and Mom continues. Daffodils are very obliging when it comes to multiplying each year.
“I hope to have them go all the way down the stone fence eventually!”
darling mini daffies
Mom planted Tasha Tudor foxgloves by the house but now they’re gone; they reappeared at the edge of the woods.
I gave her the seeds from Tasha Tudors website years ago when Tasha was still alive. She also has a signed print from “The Secret Garden”. We are fans.
There are things all over the place in the beds to make things interesting. For example, this roundish rock has been in the garden in various locations since I was a kid. Her brother Chris (they were less than one year apart in age) found it on the farm and asked her if she wanted it. We call it the Fred Flintstone bowling ball and mom believes that perhaps the groves were made so that Indians could crack Hickory nuts in them (you can see the tool marks on the rock).
Besides the flower gardens, Mom and Dad work on a big rustically fenced vegetable garden and maintain trails through the wild blueberry patch and into the woods. There is a crick, mature trees and forest, wildlife abundant, places for summertime campfires, benches, and healthy moist lawn perfect for barefeet. In my opinion, all of their well-tended 16 acres could be featured in any issue of Country Living magazine.
After the garden tour we headed up the road together to take ourselves and the dog for a walk.
Uncle Brian and his dogs were out; we stopped for a chat. He had recently seen two big Tom turkeys both trying to impress a hen in all their feathered glory. We told him he should have had a camera and he said he had enough to keep his hands full with the dogs.
He and Dad do a lot together throughout the week working in the woodlot.
The land on both sides of the road used to belong to Mom’s parents. It’s old farmland. Much of it is still in the family; the parts than aren’t still feel like “ours” deep down inside. It’s quiet and peaceful here; hardly a car goes by and you can’t even hear the sounds of distant traffic, only nature and maybe some of the far away neighbors target practicing.
This day was cloudy and overcast but the sky made all the photos beautiful.
When we arrived back home we had some visitors.
“It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” –Robert Louis Stevenson
We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves. ~Henry Ward Beecher
Who loves a garden still his Eden keeps;
Perennial pleasures plants, and wholesome harvest reaps.
~A. Bronson Alcott, “The Garden,” Tablets, 1868