Valentine's Day Pink
Forgotten fragrance!

Gardening inspiration!

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Fred Bailey in his garden
Where do we get our gardening inspiration?  Is it genetic?  Is it cultural?  Is it osmosis?  Some of us seem particularly attuned to the rhythm of the seasons and the intrinsic necessity of having plants in our lives.  I haven't seemed to teach my children this nor have I genetically imparted the 'plant love' in them.  Neither seems interested in the art and beauty of plants and gardening although my son, who is now a homeowner, is having a bit of fun with rocks in the landscape.  There is hope!  I suspect that my passion for plants was a bit overwhelming for them as any time consuming passion can be.   Each one of us probably has a different explanation for their plant addiction.  Mine lies, at least partially, in the memory of a garden wonderland created by my grandfather. Some of my first memories are those of playing in my grandfather's garden.  I was seven when he passed away so we are talking very young memories.  My mother's father was an English immigrant arriving in America in the early 1900's. The picture above is a picture of my grandfather standing among his bearded iris. Also visible in the picture are some of the trellises he built.  He also built many 'bird apartments'.  Fred loved birdhouses, trellises and wildlife.   The garden had a fish pond and a stream. Water and children are quite a combination.  The journey into his garden began on the patio overlooking the sunken garden reached by a set of stairs leading down into the garden.  If memory serves me correctly, they were wooden, white and a bit steep and they probably descended about six feet.  To a child, that is a big drop!  There was a wooden arbor in the center of the garden covered by roses and flanked by cannas.  It contained two benches which were great fun on which to climb, sit, dream and play.   I remember rose petals strewn on the ground. Dsc_0019 This next picture shows the arbor in the middle of the garden.  These pictures were taken in black and white and then colorized.  They are the originals and I have no idea what year they were taken.  They are priceless to me.  I would like to think that my gardens are somewhat reminiscent of his gardens.Dsc_0048   The curves seem familiar to me and the dappled light in my garden has a faint, familar echo of that long ago wonderland.  I do have one plant which has survived from my grandfather's garden and which was passed to me by my Mom of brown thumb fame. Dsc_0003 This rose winds its' way up the post to cover the bird house.  It blooms profusely and is subject to defoliation from black spot which doesn't decrease its' vigor from year to year.  Is someone watching over it?   It has no scent except the sometimes elusive fragrance of fond memories!   Each of us has our own story and history concerning our love of plants so, where do you get your love of gardening?