Sunday, May 1, 2011


WE LOVE EVERYTHING about living here at the Manor and have not once been sorry we made the decision to make this our home. But in April and May my mind wanders back to the garden we used to have. It was at its peak in the Spring of the year even if it did get a little rag-tag in the other seasons. Mr. Bob had come to the place that working in the garden no longer brought him any pleasure. When my knees quit working, I was mostly a "purchase and point" kind of gardener, although bending double, I was still pretty good at weeding, in spite of worrying about looking like one of those tacky folk art pieces some people find amusing.

Here's what I miss: The jasmine perfumed the whole garden and the purple petrea which covered an arch was breathtakingly beautiful and as it dropped its flowers the ground below became studded with little lavender stars. I know for a fact that the new owner saw fit to take out the white wisteria. And I'm smart enough to know that when one sells a property it can't possibly remain the same. 

I need to keep my memory honest and recall that, as with so many things in my life, the garden had great potential but was usually in a state of disarray, but I did love going out each day to look at each and every plant to see the changes Mother Nature  had accomplished. 

And then I need to remember that the gardens at the Manor are beautiful and nicely maintained. Never mind that there's not a stand of sweet peas to pick each day or tomatoes to watch develop or forget-me-nots gone wild and filling spaces in the garden beds with that special pale blue color.  I no longer need to put out snail bait or, as I did one year, gather the creatures to take to a nearby park. 
There may not be any of the David Austin roses I loved so much, but I can enjoy the rose bed here that's cared for by someone else. Black spot and aphids are not something I need to worry about.....someone else will tend to those things, should they occur.

And I have a special friend who, when we lunch together a couple of times a month, brings me a bouquet from her lush garden. 

How fortunate I am to receive such beauty! And I've discovered that our east facing window is just right for African violets. 

So, there'll be no more pouting about the garden that was. I have a funny story to close with. Years ago I attended a luncheon at our local Descanso Gardens. The featured speaker was English  gardener and author, Christopher Lloyd. He asked how many in the audience (many of them society ladies) were active gardeners. Many well-manicured hands were raised. He then said, "I'll be around after lunch to check your fingernails." 



  1. I can't help myself. When I'm in Montrose, I find myself driving down your old street, and the house, (although I will listen more closely next time, because it might be the garden talking) whispers, "We miss Jane and Bob."

    I know what they mean.

    Happy First Day of May to One and All!

  2. Beautiful-I see why you treasured it so. But you had it, for a while. Rejoice. Some of us never had it at all.

  3. Thank you for these beautiful flowers! You always had the eye for beauty :)

  4. I am glad you have pictures of your lovely garden from your home--it really did always look so pretty. You have the memories of it all. You should paint it!

  5. I know that you and Nadine would have loved sharing your beautiful gardens through the years. Hers were always an inspiration to me growing up and it's probably her sweet influence that keeps me toiling in mine. I'm also inspired by my daughter-in-law's gardening each time we go to Munich. This year when we returned my son gave me the most wonderful Mother's Day gift...hours of labor in my garden. T.O. Joanne

  6. Great photos. Beautiful gardens both. Anon Y Mouse

  7. I always will remember your house for the beautiful plants, gardens and collections inside and out!

  8. I remember your garden in my memory and in my heart. There, at Bridge Club, I met extraordinary folks as twilight began and the lanterns twinkled convivially. I captured two of them at your Good-Bye to Our Home, We're Moving to Windsor Manor sale, hoping to bring to my home a bit of your magic. Sigh. Thank you.