Spring has come early to my little corner of the earth. Every year I look forward to the sun and pop of color that springs up from lawns and trees. Maybe that’s why they call this time of year spring.
I got my love of flowers from my mother. But even at a young age, I remember the flora and fauna of my homes as much as the details of the houses we lived in.
Our first house in Maplewood, Missouri was on Greenwood Avenue. My parents rented a three-room house that sat behind a larger house. This little house was probably the servant’s quarters. The big and small houses are long gone replaced by an apartment building.
To get to our house from the street we had to walk on a sidewalk that wended its way along the side of the house to a gate in the back that divided our yard from the yard of the big house. Along this path to the back was a row of Rose of Sharon bushes. I’ll never forget the abundance of pink and white flowers when the bushes bloomed.
Perhaps I remember the persimmon trees in our yard the most because my mother would yell at us not to walk on the persimmons after they fell because we would drag the mess in on our shoes. Also in the yard was a bush that had long, thin branches. This was the source of the dreaded “switch” of which my brother Bill and I were threatened if we misbehaved. It only took feeling the switch once and from that time on we quickly fell in line with the mere mention of “do you want me to get a switch?”
Our second house was on the corner of Rannels and Oakland Avenue in Maplewood. It was in this house that my love for flowers grew. My mother loved peonies and planted two pink bushes close to the sidewalk that led to our back-door from the street. On the east fence was a long row of pink, white, and blue cornflower also known as bachelor buttons. The flowers were so prolific that they reseeded themselves every year. On the south side was a bed of purple iris that extended the entire length of the fence. In the middle of the yard was a circle of a variety of roses. The fragrance of a rose today takes me back to that little yard I enjoyed so much.
By today’s standards, this was the simplest of gardens, but it was loved by my mother and sowed the seeds of my love for gardening today. So I welcome all that goes with spring– sunshine, the greening of grass, the yellow of the daffodils, and the aroma of flowering trees and bushes. Thanks Mom!