Mom’s Iris

My Mother has always gardened and she has gardened in the same spot in Indiana soil for over 60 years.  The garden surrounds the home she made with my Father when they moved in as newlyweds down the road from my Grandparents.  Growing flowers was always secondary to farming efforts.  That continues today as my brothers farm the land that has been in our family for over 100 years.  So the garden, flowers, vegetables and such required an extra effort for my Mom.

The Midwest has lawns, acres and acres of beautiful green grass.  Ritual weekly mowing is required.  The mowers  of the grass have a variety of attitudes about this task.  My sister-in-law finds it meditative and comforting to have the lawn tidy and trimmed.  My nephew indentured to this service for his Grandmother sees it as boring and annoying that he has to take care around the flowers, the asparagus patch and the edges along the gravel driveway.  My brother sees it as a technical achievement made easier by just the right mowing machine.

Surrounding the edges of lawn  and the perimeter of the house are the flowers.  Peonies, iris, roses, lily of the valley, lilacs, hydrangeas, clematis, black-eyed-susans, zinnias & marigolds to name just a few.

Visiting in the spring the flowers seem to be growing eagerly as they emerge from a long cold winter.  The iris were blooming like crazy in shades of purple, yellow, white and peach.  I hated the smell of iris when I was a kid, my nose wrinkled and I turned away from these annual spring blooms.  Perhaps that was my inexperience with scent or my frustration of being told to pull the grass out of the plants.

Still my earliest memories are of flowers in the house, on the dinner table, in the garden flower beds.  My Mom gardens a bit less now but as I left her she needed just a package of zinnia seeds yet to plant for summer.

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