Saturday, March 18, 2006

Mother earth

We returned Thomas' first tree today - the one that we planted in May and watched slowly die over the long hot summer.

Oh what uplifting fun that was.

I haven't been out to check tree number two for buds yet, but it stayed strong and healthy through the late summer and fall, so I'm assuming it'll be sprouting life-affirming bright green buds in a month or so.

In the meantime I have a $206 nursery credit for the dead tree and a little memory garden to plan.

I'm a terrible garden planner though. I'm one of those people who really, really wants to plan the perfect garden - ensuring full season blooming cycles, correct placement, colour coordination, etc. - but I generally end up getting dazzled by all the pretty colours and smells at the nursery and make awful garden choices. I load my cart with things that end up doing poorly or completely take over, providing ample coverage for our resident vole, Freddie.

But this year I'm going to try to turn over a new leaf. I swear. I want to create a beautiful, healing garden as a tribute to Thomas. I want it to be a place where I can remember him, as well as his heavenly buddies Ryan and Mekhi and all little lost souls, my other two babies included.

Digging in the dirt has always been very therapeutic. On the day I should have given birth to our first child (May 17, 2004), I went to the garden centre and chose as many beautiful things as I could pack into the car. I spent the afternoon with my hands in the earth, trying to coax life into growing there instead. It was incredibly peaceful and exactly where I belonged, even though I once again created a rather higgledy-piggledy effort.

I want to recreate the peace I found that day in a garden along the back fence. I'll be able to see it from every window in the back of the house, and so it will be a constant reminder of the beautiful little people who graced our lives for much too short a time. It will remind me of the beauty in them that still lives on.

My hope is that by the time Thomas' tree turns fiery red the little angel garden will be well on its way.

Which means I'd better get a lot better at garden planning...and fast.


Nikki said...

Kristin Im sure the memorial garden for Thomas will be beautiful I cant wait to see the end result and see the fiery red leaves. Im sure you will spend many a moment talking with Thomas under that tree and feeling the windy whispers of his replies back to you.

Catherine said...

I do hope you will share your progress with us.

Bronwyn said...

You and I are kindred spirits when it comes to gardening. I tend to get overwhelmed at the garden centre, too, and often come home with a trunkload of inappropriate plants and flowers that are doomed to die within the season or be eaten by squirrels as soon as they're planted. I'm sure your memorial garden for Thomas will be beautiful, though. You'll have to post pictures! My mom planted a garden for Lydia at her house and I always enjoy spending time in it when I'm there.

Sherry said...

As corny as this is going to sound, while I've been trying to plan Ryan's angel garden in an organized way, I've also let myself go a little crazy and think outside the box. This is my tribute to Ryan and the other little souls, so I just go with my gut. If I like a certain flower or bush, I get it and figure out later how it'll play into what I've already got. I know this garden will always be a work in progress, but I'm thinking (and hoping) that Ryan will lead me in the right direction. With guidance like that, I can't go wrong! ;-)

kate said...

Plan? What is plan?!

I did plan a little bit with Nicolas' garden, and the garden in general. In the sense that i planned the shape of the beds in the backyard, his tree in the middle of a lawn area, and the overall theme being white. The rest of it, though it might looked kind of planned, was the result of taking a bunch of plants from mom and popping them where they looked okay. That is how i have always gardenned, buy what you like and pop it where you think it will look good, and if you don't like it move it next year. I used to think this was a failure in planning but now i think of it as the fun of the process. I never had voles though, that is really a toughie.

I am sorry Thomas's first tree died. Nicolas' tree was on it's last legs when we planted it last year, seems to be okay so far though. His orchid from his funeral died though. I know it is only a plant but it hurts deeply anyway.

I can't wait to see your pictures! And we are in Detroit, MI -- Ontario is south of us LOL. A little piece of it, anyway. Because of lake effects or something we are actually in zone 6 rather than the zone 4/5 that is most of the rest of Michigan. Plus my house has a beautiful southern exposure...

Sherry said...

Oh - I fully agree with what Kate said about moving plants around later. With me and my indecisiveness, I think I have easily shuffled half of my gardens, because I end up changing my mind or find a more suitable location. Besides, the more you get out there and play in the dirt, the more experienced you'll become! ;-)

Sonny Shine said...

I can't grow a kitchen garden this year. We sold the lower acreage and the vacent back lot has been sold to developers. No fresh veggies this year unless I dig up the back lawn. I'm disappointed because the past three years I've had a banner crop! I guess I'll have to stick to indoor potted plants.