I never knew Mrs. Thelma Dearing. She died years before we bought her house, but sometimes I imagine her spirit watching over as I putter about the garden. The gardens she planted were lost to neglect by the time I arrived, and at first I did not know she had been a gardener. I began to suspect it, however, when I found lovely plants buried under weeds and vines. My suspicions were confirmed one day at the local library when I flipped open a gardening book and found a dedication in her memory by the Cahaba Valley Garden Club.
Later I discovered several hybrid columbine, delicate pink and white blossoms that instantly won my heart. I was sure the original ones had been planted by Mrs. Dearing. I transplanted them to an area in the front garden where they could freely multiply. They thrived, and I always think of Mrs. Dearing when new seedlings appear each spring.
March has been a beautiful month. I do love the pastels that bloom this time of year:
Recent views around the front garden and patio show colorful Japanese maples and azaleas. The bright orange quince shrubs, bottom left photo, are another legacy from Mrs. Dearing, rescued and transplanted to their present location. Amazingly, they have been blooming since January. Last week's storms knocked most of the blooms down, but even now a few remain. Dogwoods also were gorgeous this year. The final photo is of the birdhouse in a dogwood tree by the patio:
Here are a couple of close-up views of the green threadleaf Japanese maple seen in the foreground of top photo above:
Lou gave me an old green ladder for Christmas. It once belonged to an artist, a gifted man who died tragically young. I never knew him, either, but like Mrs. Dearing I sometimes think about him. The ladder makes a perfect plant stand by the patio:
Is it odd that my garden contains memories of people I never met? Not real memories but echoes that linger. And when I am gone, will there be any part of me that remains? Not a ghost, of course; but if it were, I promise it would be a friendly one!