“A garden should make you feel you've entered privileged space - a place not just set apart but reverberant - and it seems to me that to achieve this the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.”
― Michael Pollan, Second Nature: A Gardener's Education
My grandparents, whom I call Memere and Pepere, still live in the home where my mother was raised on Lydia Avenue. Every spring my Memere transforms their property into a enchanting space of overlapping gardens each spilling into the next. It's a labor of love for her, one that begins with seedlings by the window in winter and ends with rows of sunflowers, trellised sheds, and beds of wildflowers in full bloom. Now in her 80s my grandmother can't be slowed down by her age or hot summers. She renews every corner of her yard with dedication, flowers, and her husband's help. Each year she makes small upgrades and changes, modifications that might go unnoticed by others but bring her happiness. Her gardens are a lifelong work in progress.
As a kid I spent a lot of time at the Lydia Avenue house. I searched for eggs in the hostas at Easter. My grandfather pushed me on the tire swing and we played street hockey in the driveway. My grandmother's flowers were always there, the backdrop of outdoor barbecue and birthday party photos. But it is only in the last few years I have taken an interest in the details and knowledge necessary to keep a garden. In keeping my own I have learned all of the love it brings.
What will your Lydia Avenue story be?