The first time I was irked by something being trendy was about fifteen or twenty years ago. I was an avid gardener at the time and had grown up with grandparents and parents who were also avid gardeners. I didn't have any interest in gardening as a child, though I loved the garden environment. I was too busy playing my imaginative games where patches of moss, half a walnut shell and a silky rose petal made a bedroom for a fairy. Or gathering up fallen rose petals and soaking them in water to make some sort of murky looking perfume. But when I grew up and had my own home and my own plot of land, I was immediately focused on filling it up with trees and shrubs and flowers and gardening became my passion. Not long after that, gardening also became trendy. For me it was a an artistic pursuit as well as the love of being outside with the soil and the insects and the birds. I could lose ten hours a day in the garden during peak gardening season. I spent all my spare money on plants and was given trees, rose bushes or perennials for birthdays and Christmases. I had plants that had once been in my grandmother's garden or my great aunt's garden. I spent winter scouring gardening books and magazines and deciding which were the next varieties of rhododendron or rose or peony I hoped to add. I went shopping for specifically named plants, never just any old pink peony. I moved things around my garden constantly, attempting to achieve exactly the look I wanted with colour and foliage texture.
But my chronic illness and my troubled marriage were both conspiring to take my garden away from me. I reached a point where I could no longer look after the garden I had created. When my marriage fell apart and I left, my ex husband retained our family home and my garden. He doesn't have the time for it, although he always did love its presence. It is falling apart now and I don't know if his new partner will want to restore it. I hope she does. I like her. I wish I could walk through the garden with her and tell her the stories behind the different plants, why I chose them or who they came from. Spring is the time when I miss my garden most. Right about now I would be out walking around the garden to see what was coming up, or sitting in the window looking out at it. This time of year is full of the promise of abundant flower and foliage to come and I would look forward to each plant reaching its peak in the same way one looks forward to greeting a friend. I would also be thinking to myself, that plant really would look better if it were moved two feet to the left.
When I sat down to write this post, I was going to rant about trends that irk me. Don't worry, I'm sure that will come. But the garden wanted to be written about today. This post wrote itself. I don't have many photos of my old garden, but I do have some I took in my parents' garden about a year or so ago. I will leave you with some of those today.