Porch Talk

a Southern Momma speaks

Mother Nature’s Gifts


In these weird and upsetting times, Mother Nature is one source of calm, and even joy. Our experiences with Mother Nature can be as simple as a few window boxes of flowers, or as elaborate as a full garden. In either case, the gardeners will find in a garden rewards that might have been overlooked in more normal times.

Watching seeds turn into seedlings, and then into plants, is a rewarding activity because one sees the miracles sunlight or shade and soil and water create with only a handful of dry seeds.

There is a challenge in beginning a garden with seeds rather than plants from the nursery. Like the infants they are, they must be cared for with attention to details, such as the depth seeds are to be planted and the distance they must be apart.

The wonderful young woman who takes care of my garden follows the “destructions”, as a young grandson called instructions, to the last word, having learned by experience that to do otherwise yields poor or no results.

My garden is not formal. It’s more like an English cottage garden, with hybrid tea roses offering room to Dwarf Gardenias and moon flowers, and with lavender competing with a hyacinth to scent the air. All of my roses are fragrant, and in spring and summer evenings, the many colors and scents form a tapestry that changes an ordinary patch of soil into a land of mystery and delight.

When my dear Emile was alive, he planted vegetables. Summer squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, snap beans and green peas. When my husband and I had a house in the country, Emile and I decided to plant artichokes. Imagine our dismay when two dozen of them ripened at the same time. Fortunately, my book club was meeting that day, so each member went home with several artichokes. However, we never tried that again.

When I moved to New Orleans after my husband’s death, Emile drove there twice a week, because the garden space was small, and didn’t require the care the larger ones had. After he’d helped me settle in, he took a tour of the neighborhood. The house was a raised cottage, and I had suggested hanging baskets from the eave to be filled with petunias and other such flowers.

“People in our new neighborhood don’t use hanging baskets,” he said. “They use window boxes.” Soon, the front sun porch windows had window boxes, as did the windows in the living and dining rooms.

Emile was a born gardener, and one of my very best friends. His death was and is hard to accept, but when I look out at my garden, I know his spirit is there.


5 thoughts on “Mother Nature’s Gifts

  1. Dear Beth, Yiur posts are always so uplifting!! Though I am not a gardener, when you write of your experiences with current and past gardens I feel as though I should run right out to our plant purveyors and load up on all things green and growing!!

    I think of you often and hope that your run up to surgery goes along without any more disappointing delays.

    Best wishes to you and hugs to Oam and Vic!


  2. As always, thank you for your comforting words.
    Judy and I hope you are well.


  3. Another wonderful post, Beth. Your yard must be fabulous this time of year. Gardening is not my thing. Both of my grandmothers liked to garden. My mom did not have a green thumb. She tried, but, with 4 children, she used her time elsewhere. She would rather read for an hour in the early evening. So, I never got into gardening.

    You know, Emile, is giving your new garden advice, whether she likes it or not. He’s not going to let the garden go astray.

    Love, Nancy

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just read this…it’s true that in these troubling times simple things can take us to a better place.Thanks for sharing your thoughts,RonSent via the Samsung Galaxy S9, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone


  5. Love you, Southern Momma.


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