Saturday, July 28, 2012
Flowers of Love
The Daily DuBrule
I just got back from a Celebration of Life in Massachusetts. My sister's best friend succumbed to cancer recently and I took some time off to be there for her and honor our friend. Adeline was a wonderful gardener. She and my sister were what I call "gardening buddies". They shared plants. They visited nurseries together and went on buying sprees. It was part of the fabric of their friendship.
So many people that I met at this gathering spoke of her gardens. The mailman said he exchanged seeds with her. The neighbor said she looked at the gardens every day. To honor her love of flowers, my sister and I decided to give some away. I went up the day before and brought a giant bucket of flowers and foliage and herbs from my own yard. I picked them at 6 in the morning, put them in the shade, and conditioned them. Hydrangeas, fennel, amaranth, Persciaria, black eyed Susan's, Joe Pye weed, anything I could get find. Thursday evening we visited Adeline's family and checked out her gardens. Friday morning we returned and picked a little bit of everything. We went through my sister's garden and picked some more. Phlox, bee balm, globe thistle, mint, Heliopsis, soapwort, butterfly bushes, Shasta daisies... Funny thing, her flowers and Adeline's flowers were almost the same. Garden buddies are like that. Then we went to the local farm stand and bought zinnias and sunflowers.
We filled every canning jar, vase, and container we could scrounge. It was a rainy morning and we worked outside under the umbrella. It was creative, relaxing, and most of all, healing. I packed over a dozen floral creations into my car and off we went.
We were met at the door by cousins and family members who helped us bring them in and put them everywhere. During the celebration, my sister told the story of their shared love of gardening and asked everyone to take a vase of flowers home. She had also arranged for a local florist to make eight similar centerpieces for each of the tables.
As we left later that day, we were so happy to watch everyone leaving with a vase of fresh garden flowers. They took a little bit of their friend or relative with them. Flowers of love.