Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My Mother's Favorite Flowers

When I return to England it wont be the same without my mother.  I sat by her hospital bed, day and night, for eleven days and was holding her hand at the end. What a privilege to spend that time with her.

It was a time of quiet contemplation.
It was a time of anxiety.
It was a time of sorrow.
It was a time of joy.
It was a time of meditation.
It was a time of prayer.
It was a time of remembering.
It was a time of tears.
It was a time of love. *

Mom's favorite flowers are some of my favorites, too. She loved the tulips and forget-me-nots that graced her garden in springtime. That's her spring garden in the picture above and the one below. 

My mother loved forget-me-nots.

 She loved her crocosmia that she called montbretia ...

Mom's hydrangeas were the stars of her summer garden ...

... but her favorite flowers were the roses that my Dad planted all those years ago. It's too late to ask her the name of this perfect, pink beauty.

My mother was never happier than when she was in her garden.

When she could no longer take care of her home and garden, she moved to Cherry Tree Court. There we planted a cherry tree in her honor.  It was displaying its last blooms when I arrived ...

Blossom on Mom's cherry tree.

When she passed away, we placed a plaque next to the tree to show it was planted as a tribute to this wonderful lady.

It was a roller coaster time.
It was a long time.
It was a hard time.
It was a painful time.
It was a time I will never lose sight of. *

* adapted from  More Faith in my Day by Emilie Barnes

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  1. Pam, what a sweet tribute to your Mom. She looks so happy in the pictures you posted, and her garden was beautiful. It's clear where you get your gardening skills from, as your own garden is one I admire greatly. She is safe now, and although your worry is now replaced with grief, your days will get better with may not believe that now, but they will. Love, Mary Anne

  2. What a very beautiful tribute to your mother, Pam. One can tell she belonged in the garden. I am certain she was right by your side as you prepared this post, cherishing those lovely favorite flowers. All the best in these days ahead.

  3. it's too late to ask ... that is what hits me. My mama always knew the answer, but she taught us to look it up. But you KNOW!

    In time I'll go thru the letters and diaries and tease out more of her story.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go forward. May spring bring you tulips, roses, and forget me nots.

  4. My sympathy on the loss of your mother. Always for a time for reflection. How happy she looks in her garden, a wonderful and comforting memory for you. I am visiting England next month. Will see two dear aunts and my father, all in their eighties. In the back of my mind I know it might be the last time I see them, bittersweet.

  5. Hello, I just happened to pop over to your blog and read your very touching tribute to your lovely mother. How beautiful her garden was and how very happy she looked in it. Gardening does teach us to accept the passages of life, doesn't it? No matter how painful. I am sorry for your loss and wish you the best.

  6. Pam I was so saddened to hear of the loss of your mother. Such a beautiful wonder you chose pictures of her in her garden...she was so happy there and I would say so were you.

    The sweet prose from Emilie Barnes brought a flood of tears as those sentiments are still felt as I remember the loss of my dad.

    I wish you time to grieve, time to remember, time to find peace and so many memories. And her memory still lives on in you and that wonderful tree blooming with life.

  7. I am sorry to read of your mother's passing after following all the times you went to visit her, it was almost like we got to know her as well. You wrote a wonderful tribute to her and her garden. Her favorite spring flowers are mine as well. I have forget-me-nots and red tulips too. Sorry for your loss.

  8. Patricia MusselmanApril 23, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    My deepest sympathy on the loss of your mother. I can see the resemblance in both looks and the love of the garden. May she rest in peace knowing that her daughter carries on her traditions. You are in my thoughts. Pat Musselman

  9. Pam, your mom looks just as beautiful as the flowers in her garden photos. She seems to be glowing with pride and she passed that passion on to you! What a wonderful gift! Hugs and extra prayers for you during these difficult times.

  10. I'm so sorry for your loss, but what a beautiful tribute to your lovely mum. I can see how proud she was of her garden by that lovely smile on her face as she stands in it, and I can see where you got your love of birds from too. A very sad time for you, but you've got so many happy memories that you'll be able to smile about them all in time.

  11. Hello Pam, so sorry to hear you mum has gone. She looked so happy in her lovely garden,

    I also call the orange one Montbretia. Diana and yourself both talking of your old mum is making me have doubts of moving further away from my mother. Take care, my thoughts are with you.

  12. I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Will you be able to slip away to her old garden and take a few cuttings or sneak some seeds?

  13. Dear Pam, what a wonderful tribute to your beautiful mother, and such lovely comments from your readers. I read them all and I hope they bring some comfort to you.

    I was going to ask the same question as Robin ! Did you manage to save seeds, or sneak a cutting ? If not I'm sure you have areas of your garden that are identical to parts of your mothers garden as you both love /loved gardening so much. A great thing to have learnt from your dear mother.
    Thoughts and prayers go out to you and the family.

    Love Maureen xxx

  14. I was sorry to hear about the loss of your mother, what a lovely tribute this post is to her. I like the idea of planting a tree in memory of someone - a tree is such a substantial, long lasting plant and will often live long beyond the people today. My father died in February this year and everything is still quite raw. He died completely unexpectedly and we didn’t get to say goodbye, which made everything all the more difficult. I have been thinking of asking my mother to plant a tree in their garden this autumn in memory of him.

  15. What a lovely, happy woman your mother was and her gardens were the same. This was a sweet tribute to her. I am sorry for your loss.


  16. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear mother. She looks so happy standing in her beautiful garden. What a lovely lady! I hope you will find some comfort working in your garden. Gardening is such good therapy!

  17. Your mum was a happy person as it seems. The garden is lovely. It's a nice thing paying the tribute to her this way. I am sure you have happy memories on your mum.

  18. Dearest Pam,
    Please accept my condolences ... we have all come to know your mother through your words and photos, and we can see that she will be greatly missed. I think the best tribute that can be said of all of us is that we are happiest in our gardens. Your photos of her and her garden are lovely.

  19. Hi Pam, Your mother looks like a kindred spirit, enjoying her garden. I love her smile. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs.

  20. So sorry to read of your mother's death. I'm glad you were able to be with her. What a lovely woman and a lovely garden!

  21. Pam I'm so sorry to read about your mums passing. Your mum had a lovely garden and as I sit here at the moment and look out there's a froth of blue forget me nots and various colours of tulips in flower in mine. Since you both had such a love for gardening then you'll always feel so close to her when you're in your own garden. I hope the pain of your loss gets a little easier as the days go by. Love Rosie xxx

  22. Oh Pam, I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Clearly she was a very talented gardener (like mother, like daughter) and your tribute to her is a very special one. xx

  23. I'm so very sorry for your loss, Pam. Your Mother's garden looks so lovely, and she looks so happy in those pictures with her garden. Planting a tree is such a beautiful and fitting tribute.

  24. What a beautiful and loving tribute to your mom. I'm very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing the photos, her garden is lovely! The hydrangeas are gorgeous, I haven't had success with them. My mother is a gardener too, she grows many flowers and I mostly grow veggies. I want to plant more flowers and we need room!

    My husband and I moved to Idaho almost 3 years ago. My mom lives in California. She's my greatest influence with gardening and I get inspired. She's ill but gardening has always been her therapy, it makes her incredibly happy.

  25. I'm sorry to hear about your mother's passing. Like the others said, that was a lovely tribute to her. That was a good idea to also plant the same kind of tree in your yard.

  26. I'm sorry you lost your mom. She looks like a happy lovely person....and one heck of a gardener.