Here are some pictures of what we’ve planted in the backyard. As we’ve planted, I have purposed in my heart that these growing things honor Lucy’s life, a testimony to the joy her growing brought to us. I will tell you what plants have been gifts.
This is a line of roses. The Baumann family, Nancy Cooper, Cathy and Bart Pate, and Lucy’s Aunt Bean all gave us a rose bush in her honor. There is room for one or two more at the end, where the flamingos stand now. Several of them are blooming astonishingly for being new-planted.
In the back beside the metal shed we planted different kinds of herbs. Mixed with them are perky little orange French Marigolds. (The smell of marigolds makes me think of my mother planting tomatoes – she taught me that marigolds will discourage bugs from eating your other plants.) This is our “Cloister garden”. In medieval times, monks would plant an herb garden beside the kitchen area for medicines and flavoring food. I’ve been told that sometimes a Monastery was the only place medieval serfs could go for medicines and treatment of wounds. A hospital supply buried in an 8′ square plot of ground. James and I saw a model of a Cloister garden when we visited the Cloisters Museum 4 years ago in New York City.
These are Abbey’s Wisteria Vines planted in honor of Lucy. In Lucy’s favorite movie, Gnomeo and Juliet, wisteria vines, roses, pink flamingos, and garden gnomes feature prominently. James constructed the trellis for us from three separate pieces. He’s handy that way. These Wisteria were given to us by the Noltie family in honor of Lucy.
This little bed was made entirely by Lucy’s Aunt Amy. While I flopped helplessly and wept and searched for a dress online to wear to the funeral, she took the kids and dug out the grass, bought plants and soil at Walmart, constructed sides from old bricks we had piled in the corner of the yard, and created a space unique to her in honor of Lucy. There are tomatoes and herbs, with more of the little French Marigold spread around. The tiny pot is an offering from Amos that he made with his Aunt Faith’s help. Every day we’ve been outside, Amos pulls a little branch off one off of something and “plants” it in the pot. We’ve talked about plants needing roots, but he remains hopeful that one morning he’ll go outside and a full-blown bush will have spring from his three-leaf arrangement in the 2″ clay pot.
This is a line of Lantana (sometimes called butterfly weed) leading from the trellis to the herb spot. I chose the lantana because it attracts butterflies and bees and is hardy in drought. It blooms in three colors: yellow, orange, and red. Cheerful colors like a cheerful little girl.
This is the surviving garden. Feathery tall dill, red snapdragons, floppy petunias and straggly proud azaleas that made it through the mild winter unscathed. It is the bed that blooms to please itself, and I feel grateful seeing it. As if the Lord brought me an unlooked-for bouquet. Behind them, where I unfortunately did not take a picture, is a Gerber Daisy from Bob and Darlene Cates in Lucy’s honor. It arrived covered in pretty red blooms in a ladybug painted pot.
Look! That is a single dill flower. I’ve never had an herb that grew anywhere close to this robust and bushy. If you meet any medieval serfs in medicinal need of dill, send them to me.
Now we wait, watch, and water. Breath in and breath out. – Katie