Good things can evolve from bad events. I’m a true believer you can always put a spin on things.
My daughter, Monique suddenly left her beloved first apartment with its large garden this winter. Having worked at a gardening centre last summer, she’d acquired many unique perennial plants she was reluctant to leave behind. Her Nonno and Nonna, my parents, told Monique they had a few spots in their garden if she needed space for her plants. Which was very generous as I knew their yard had been professionally landscaped. It took several days for Monique and I to dig everything up and re-plant it. And, amazingly enough there was room for all of the perennials. Plus, a few petunias and calla lilies for “instant colour”.
Monique now lives an hour bus ride plus a 15 minute walk away so it fell to me for the majority of the perennials’ upkeep. I’m a busy person. But, you know the saying “ if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it!”
Well, this garden changed my daily life. I’ve promised myself before I’d visit my parents more often. Llife gets busy and there’s always one more thing to be done, right? But, with the new transplants, I was bound and determined they survive their move. I visit my parents almost daily nowadays to catch up with them and to water Monique’s plants and the rest of the gardens. Dad’s almost 94 and Mom’s just about 90. Sometimes, they do the watering but it tires them out.
The flower and vegetable gardens are a team effort. One sister planted the vegetable garden with tomato plants, zucchini, cucumbers and Swiss chard. I spread some mulch and do some weeding besides watering. Another sister spread more mulch, and weeds and waters on her visits every two weeks; the only brother- number one son- hoes the garden, suckers the tomato plants and helps out with watering once a week. Plus any other tasks like keep the computer running. My parents are on Facebook after all. They rely on their computer.
The garden unites us all and serves as another reason to visit. I feel blessed to have received such a large “ nudge” to visit more frequently than my previous weekly visits. I’ve made time and never regretted it once. I share stories and laughs and learn new things about Mom and Dad. And my parents look forward to seeing the growth and new flowers in their gardens.
I see things in a different light. Like, bunnies, for example. While one of my sisters was digging, she glimpsed a fluff of fur and heard an strange cry. A baby bunny had barely missed getting killed by the shovel! We didn’t even know bunnies made any sounds.
A couple days later, Mom and Dad were praying the rosary on their front porch when they saw the Mother bunny appear. They watched her nurse four babies and then my parents resumed their praying.
The bunnies soon got into mischief, chewing the tops off of two lily plants.They didn’t eat them; just discarded them. Not their favourite. I told my parents the bunnies were impatient waiting for the Swiss chard to grow taller.
Instead of being upset, Mom left pieces of carrots out on the lawn for them. The next day, the carrots were gnawed down similar to how a beaver gnaws wood. And, the lilies remained untouched. How better than putting out some harmful deterrent for the bunnies.
I learned whenever I watered the large hosta, one of the parent bunnies would race from its hiding spot to dash to the tiger lilies.The bunny wasn’t seen on my last two visits and I actually worried about it. Maybe it thought the grass is greener, I mean, the garden is tastier next door?
But, bunnies aside, another favourite part of my “ watering” visit is when I reach the end of the garden. That’s where a sister staked a whirly Dollarama pinwheel. I spray it with the hose to make it spin.Water flies everywhere and we all laugh.
Gardening at my parents makes me feel like a kid again. It’s a wonderful feeling. And, as I said earlier, I like to put a positive spin on things!