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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Illusion of life.


This is the kind of garden space I once contemplated, a bit of green, a hint of water. Southern California had been on water ration for years and years, and when my then teen children took showers, we tried to save water by installing timers on appliances, and by collecting and recycling 'grey' water, shower water.
This kind of illusory water dream was a natural in the desert conditions of greater Los Angeles.

Fortunately for me, we moved to a place that is green all the time. This kind of landscape would appear an anomaly in most of Oregon. Here, it rains seven, eight months out of the year, continuously, and when summer finally gets here-this time it never really came-we welcome it with spontaneous giddiness. We excel in gardens maintained in natural settings, weeds and all, and plant what will survive around wild life.

When I see cactus and rocks, I smile, remembering how silly and naive I was, hording old roses from the Huntington Garden, dreaming of replicating the beautiful British gardens I saw in magazines.

When I accompanied Janet* to nurseries that specialized in native Californian plants, and we picked up a few cactus plants for special effect, I realized how far we have all come. We are smarter and wiser with our resources. We try the understand the natural conditions and natural flora and fauna, and try to live in harmony with our surroundings.  Janet's plan was elaborate, incorporating both hardscape and focal areas that interpreted the dreams she and Brian had.

A garden will nurture your soul and your dreams.
It will tell your story.
Let it speak your dream; and, let it communicate it easily and fluidly.

*Janet is my son Brian's fiance'. After he passed away suddenly this last July, she designed and organized a garden space to celebrate his/their life and dreams as a Memorial Garden. Read the story and see the work she and his friends did, by going to my previous posts.


25 comments:

Suz said...

ah this post's title interested me
Sometimes we are plucked and planted where we shouldn't grow..maintained artificially or with great effort...but we live...
we grow where are
and sometimes we bloom
Rosaria,hug
I don't know how to view the garden is there a link?

Jinksy said...

My 'garden' is so rampant in its tiny patches of earth, it threatens to overwhelm me every time I go out in it! But green is better than concrete...

Brian Miller said...

we are smarter now understanding the local flora and fauna...i think that is key...the understanding as it takes us back to a relationship with our land...not on it...

She Writes said...

Oh gosh, I have gardened like crazy here in the Northwest. I miss every garden I ever planned and planted each time I move, but especially now. My new place has a place I can garden and I am mentally mulling over the cost and the lessons of growth and beauty that could be Jane's who doesn't know this side of me (or of nature).

You are right, we garden in a wise way and go with the land and what it gets and does in nature wherever it is. Brain's garden is beautiful, I saw the video. But the beauty of the gardeners even more so.

It's interesting how death reminds us of moments we have lived and what grew there and what is left. I am glad for the gardens. Brian's was a lovely idea. I feel it has comforted those who miss and love him. Life, somehow, in a desert.
((((((((((dear Rosaria))))))))
xxamy

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I just love my garden. Some of it is controlled some is rampant. I have just built a raised bed in full sun, so next year I will be looking for cactus. After this years drought I hope cactus will do well there !! Diane

Linda Myers said...

My Pacific Northwest garden is thriving. Its native plants like the rain and cooler temperatures. When I visit an arid place like SoCal or Phoenix, I really notice the rock landscaping.

Rob-bear said...

Picking things that are native to the area is important. The plants and the land are familiar with each other, and are likely to be healthiest. Which will make for a lot less garden work, I think.

Grandmother said...

"Gardens are a form of autobiography." Hugs from Italy to you.

Terra said...

We are water wise here, in coastal California, with our gardens, at our house. I read your earlier posts about the memorial garden, which is a very loving endeavor.

Amanda said...

rosaria,

i've learned to love these drier, desert types of gardens too. there is something so elemental and sort of spiritual about it.

but i agree - we can still dream of armfuls of roses from an english garden...

Joani said...

My favorite place is outside playing in the dirt. In Arizona it is once again time to plant for fall harvest as the long summer's heat is gone...I hope....and fall is upon us. I'm doing my best at living each moment I can out there. Hugs.

rosaria said...

Suz, go the post on Aug. 28th. to view Brian's Memorial and the garden .

Retired English Teacher said...

I love the wisdom of this post. I still struggle to accept that I must garden where I live and therefore will never have the beautiful British gardens I see in magazines also.

I find that younger people are so much wiser when it comes to living in harmony with their surroundings. While I have tried to eschew plants that are not native to my region and should not be introduced to the region, I also dream of gardening in a place where there is rain on a regular basis.

Janet seems to be a wise and beautiful soul with great vision. I hope Brian's garden brings her great peace.

ellen abbott said...

I've been gardening with native perennials for, well since I really started gardening, or paying attention. We had a bunch of semi-tropicals but they haven't fared well since our last two winters and now this drought. May be changing over to cacti.

Towanda said...

I've haven't had a garden since I was very young and I think that was mostly sweet peas. Today, if I had a garden it would consist of cacti and that small touch of water. Cacti endure and flourish given the right conditions.

Cloudia said...

very nice post



Aloha from Waikiki;


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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rosaria .. that's a lovely tribute to your son and his life with Janet - she must be one great lady.

Times change and fortunately we're learning to work with the land, rather than trying to convert it to our way .. it never works for long!

Have a peaceful weekend .. Hilary

Robyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robyn said...

Rosaria... I can't imagine life without a garden of any description to nurture.

Having a garden in memory of your much loved son is wonderful for everyone.

Big love to you... you're in my thoughts xoxo

ps... I have never owned my own garden to date... but I garden anyway... it's food for the soul

erin said...

it is each generation that must get smarter. you know, it was only a few generations that had forgotten. we got away from it, common sense, and now we regroup. i hope we regroup quickly. we may not have it all regardless of where or who we are. we must accept where and who we are. we are not entitled to any more.

each garden is beautiful, isn't it, rosaria?

xo
erin

karen said...

Here in Africa, we seem to have really taken the use of indigenous plants to heart, due to the very arid conditions. For me it is so incredible the way these plants are so well adapted. We are lucky though, in that we live on a farm with irrigation water from a huge strong river... Glad Janet (and you) have the garden memorial..

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

It must be comforting, Rosaria, to know how much others -- especially Janet -- loved Brian, too. To build a living memorial garden is so wonderful. It's so true that our gardens mirror our lives. I think that is why I cried when I saw pictures of my old house -- I could remember planting each thing I saw and building a stone waterfall in the back slope in memory of my beloved Aunt Molly. My garden in Arizona reflects where I am now, in a different phase of life. I'm learning to like "crushed granite" and cacti!

Sightings said...

I don't know what else to say except my heart goes out to you, for your son, for your loss, for your garden and your memories ... and for the rest of your journey. Please keep us here in your mind, as we keep you in our hearts.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

I love my garden and since moving to Italy have learnt how to do so in a dryer hotter climate. I even appreciate cacti these days.

shopgirl said...

This is a beautiful post Rosaria.

These plants look similar to some of the ones we have here in southern Italy. It's very dry here, so there's very little grass. I miss the wildness of gardens and green plants of the west coast.

I love that Janet is creating a garden as a living memorial for your son. A garden is ever evolving with its gardener.

p.s. happy to be back from my blog vacation. and you were right. it was a great way to recharge my batteries.

Wishing you a lovely week!
Reese
http://rambleswithreese.etsy.com
http://rambleswithreese.blogspot.com