Friday, 19 August 2016

Last Remembrance … # WEP Gardens Entry ...



A Niece’s Recall …

 
Yolanda and Denise's
Write Edit Publish
Gardens' Challenge

So many memories from days gone by – many of which she had not been part of … but in those recent years she had learnt more … of life in general, adapting, slowing her own pace and appreciating their beloved garden.






A similar English garden
Their garden, the dogs and the fish were their children, with the next door cats their constant visitors adding another dimension – let alone the moles in the lawns, the unwanted rabbits daring to appear near the house and then having the audacity to nibble anything attempting to live, or the badgers scratching around the garden.


Rambling Rector Rose wrapping itself
around a spreading branch:
This is Shakespeare's Musk rose ... 
With his wife gone he maintained the garden with its wonderful flowers, shrubs and trees … remembrance of the part of the chicken farm they had purchased for their last home … which had been lovingly crafted by them into the exquisite paradise of an English country garden: little fertiliser needed here – the chickens had left their mark.


Fallen trees and stumps left for nature
to embrace


They had embraced ecological and ancient traditions for their garden – a wonderful vegetable and fruit plot sustaining them … providing others with a veritable feast of fresh fruits or vegetables to take away.  All were nurtured – fruit trees, clambering roses, stumps and fallen wood for insects and small mammals … they delighted in nature.


Just bring some of the pond plants to the
edge and the dewpond would be almost
right - probably not as big as theirs


A dewpond was dug as local custom dictated … filled with golden orfe … herons came to snatch a ‘free’ meal … they were replaced … frog spawned, tadpoles thrived … little children came, netted and played with tiny squirling taddies on hot paving stones –much to the squealing, hopping delight of the kids.


Golden Orfe
The yacht sailed the pond … one hoped it would be within reach of the pond side … not lodged in the pond’s haven of water lilies, rushes, oxygenating plants … to be released to set a-sailing again … where ere the breeze took it …




Ours was more aged!  A well-used
model yacht ...


Life was fun for visitors, much knowledge was asked for or imparted … the old tennis court became a croquet lawn … plenty of ground to play hide and seek … or just sit quietly on the African stoep giving one’s brain some space, or enjoying a cup of English tea with home-made cake …





Shortbread straight from the Aga

Visitors immersed themselves and admired the seasonal garden … the wave of spring bulbs … snow drops, interspersed with sworls of daoffdils or narcissi pushing their way for Spring joy;





Spurge


... acid yellow Spurge brightening up a dark corner, showing off the vibrant tulips … Bleeding heart (sadly appropriate for his latter years) with its apple-green ferny foliage, topped with claret-red bleeding hearts on long stems …




Primroses, bluebells, daisies, buttercups, foxgloves appeared on the fringes … reminding us that nature too gave us these wild beauties … the owners delighted in their appearance …


Banksia
… the early roses, including the pale primrose coloured Banksia rose … then the climbers with their wonderful scents clambering up into the elderly mossy branches of apple, plum or pear tree … mixing the colour vibrancy so easily with the fruiting blossoms … effortlessly added to with the rushing clematii …


Crocosmia

… more profusion as summer came upon us … daphnes, lilies, crocosmias, beds bordered with lavender bushes, Mexican fleabane (tiny blush-pink daisies) covering the cracks in the stoep, self-seeding as it spreads …



Mexican Fleabane taking
over the steps ... 


The Autumn day brushed a last summer’s sun across the landscape, giving us burnished leaves, red berries, colours of amber, russet, reds mixing with the remaining greens and some bare dark roughened branches – a celebration to their lives; we were lucky with the weather, the sun shone through giving us an autumnal warm glow.





Autumnal Garden
We shared this day with many … but had the background of their garden … the sloping ground towards a brook and copse … surrounded by the trees planted in yesteryear, the large rhododendrons and shrubs … while we taxed brains to remember names – of people, plants and places … we are now the next in line ...




Russelliana Rambling Rose
Memories of that autumn day, a last look out across the landscape that was their home ... the red leaves reminding us of Africa, their Africa, the green of England, the trees of long established memories of two most wonderful people: long may we remember.




Bright rose hips - Autumn is here, yet food
profusion for birds, insects before winter sets in


That garden is now someone else’s home … the friends we had are now friends of theirs – that is the way it should be.  New life springs eternal in the carefully nurtured garden, which contains its own history, the stories of ghosts of times past, recent history as recorded in the landscape …





Bleeding Heart 

The Garden Remembrances of a Niece – one who went in the cold, early Spring, her beloved who went in the Autumn days a few years later – the Niece who remembers them …






I am away ... but will catch up shortly ...






Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

63 comments:

DMS said...

What beautiful memories and pictures! Truly lovely. :)

Hope you are having a great time away.
~Jess

Elephant's Child said...

Poignant, powerful, beautiful.
Thank you so much.
You have made my eyes leak and my heart swell.

Denise Covey said...

Hillary, I hope you are well!
What a poignant journey through a special garden of yesteryear. So many beautiful plants left behind as humans move on. Gorgeously evocative!

Thank you for sharing this for WEP. I will return for another read. A lot to take in. And the images really suit the telling.

Denise:-)

Nilanjana Bose said...

Beautiful memories and superb images. Poignant and touching and special. The garden is eternal, so true.

Hope you are doing well and enjoying your trip.

Best,
Nila.

Pat Garcia said...

I enjoyed reading your story. It was as if I were walking down memory lane, looking back at what once was and is no more.
Excellently written, it was a pleasure to read it.
Shalom aleichem,
Patricia

Annalisa Crawford said...

Beautiful words and memories. Fantastic pictures to accompany it.

M. Denise C. said...

Lovely and uplifting post! Thank you. Enjoy your travels . . . Denise

Out on the prairie said...

What a lovely dream, nice setting to enjoy year round.I love the varieties I wasn't familiar with and want each of those roses.

Liza said...

I wished I could be in those gardens...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sad but beautiful memories. I wonder if the pond is still there?

A Heron's View said...

The memories that you have shared remind me of times past, the innocence of youth and of all those seasons I have lived through. The relations and friends now dissolved into the ether, belonging to memories that will never be repeated and so.
Though I enjoy late summer (autumn) colours, berries; I am sad to see the swallows leave for their departure reminds me of my lost shared past.

Rhodesia said...

What a fabulous post and memories that will not be forgotten. A friend of mine who passed away recently in Africa has a tree planted in memory in my garden. His daughter asked for everyone to plant an indigenous tree in their garden in memory rather then sending flowers. I though it was an amazing idea. Keep well Diane

Jo said...

What lovely memories and lovely pictures. Thank you for sharing that with us Hilary.

Kathleen Valentine said...

Oh, such beautiful photos. I'm always partial to the ones that are wild and out of control. I love the fallen branches being hugged by nature.

dolorah said...

Oh my that was beautiful. So much love and passion. It is always so soothing to come here Hilary. Hope you are having safe and fun travels.

D.G. Hudson said...

I love the memories hinted at in this post Hilary, as flowers and their scents can provoke a certain place or something that is connected to that scent. I like reading all the names of the flowers (exotic to me in the northern hemisphere). I especially like reading about the owners/gardeners leaving dead wood for the critters and nature. We had a dead plum tree we left in our yard for longer than we normally would as woodpeckers would come and peck at it for bugs beneath the bark. . .enjoyed your lovely post and the images you included.

Nicola said...

Hi Hilary. I love how you've revisited such wonderful memories and shared the beauty through your eyes and words. Exquisite. Thank you for sharing. (I'd love a piece of that shortbread :))

Sai Charan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sai Charan said...

Hi Hilary,

Thoroughly enjoyed reading your memories tagged with beautiful pictures :) Thank you so much for sharing this post :)

Wish you a great holiday!

All the best,
Sai :)

Sally said...

So beautifully written and enhanced with the photographs. Lovely.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Beautiful and bittersweet. I hope the new owners treat the gardens with as much love.

Yolanda Renée said...

A truly lovely journey through memories and the garden, beautifully presented! I love that we can all delight in the magnificence of nature during this challenge. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for participating in the WEP Gardens Challenge. I hope you trip is just as lovely!

Joanne said...

absolutely charming and oh so peaceful. Lovely.
enjoy your away time!

Deborah Weber said...

What a fabulous piece of writing Hilary. Flash fiction or not, I certainly would love to visit that garden.

beste barki said...

A very touching remembrance and beautiful pictures Hilary.

cleemckenzie said...

Oh, Hilary. You had me by the heart throughout this. Thank you for the beautiful garden images and the poignant words.

Melissa Sugar said...

Hilary, such a beautiful, touching, poignant walk through the eternal garden of memory. My eyes watered. The imagery is amazing. You have such a way with words and the way you took us through the seasons made me feel like I was walking through my grandmother's garden with her. It wasn't nearly as lovely as the photos you've shown, but she took such care of it and it meant so much to her that your story conjured up old memories of our times spent in the garden tending to flowers, pruning, weeding, feeding and talking, just the two of us. I do hope the new neighbors take good care of this garden. I often return to my grandparents home just to have a look around. It's one of the few properties left in our area (in the city) with actual land. There's a pool, a large pond - almost like a little lake with little fishing row boats, and the backyard garden is two story so on three sides you can find long staricases hidden between the azalea bushes. My daughter wants me to ask the new owners if she can have her senior portraits taken by the fountain in the garden. I don't know them, but she wants me to just knock on the door and ask. I'm working up the courage to do it. The previous owners allowed us to look around from time to time, but they purchased it after my grandmother died and I think they felt obligated. Thank you for sharing your lovely story.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Hilary! Back for a second read. Just as inspiring!

Mason Canyon said...

Strong and moving, thanks Hilary.

Bish Denham said...

I'm wordless. That is probably your most beautiful post ever, in word and picture.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

This is so lovely. I can imagine it as a beautiful little book sold in a gift shop!!!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

What a lovely place to live. You can see the love in the pictures and hear them in your words.

Anabel Marsh said...

Beautiful words and pictures.

Michael Di Gesu said...

That was a BEAUTIFUL tribute to your Aunt and Uncle, Hilary.... Just BEAUTIFUL!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jess – thanks so much – and I had a lovely time: very special time …

@ EC – I really appreciate your thoughts … watering eyes and swelling heart – such a treat to read …

@ Denise – this ‘story’ has been sitting waiting for an opportunity to be brought to light – so I was delighted to take up the offer … and yes certainly some stunning plantings were left behind for others to enjoy. They did love their garden …

I’m so pleased to see you’ll be back – thank you … and that the images match the story line …

@ Nila – I enjoyed reliving the memories and then matching up some appropriate photos. Their garden will live on in some way or other … and thank you – I’ve had a lovely time …

@ Pat – how lovely to see you here – and honestly that’s a wonderful comment … I’m so grateful …

@ Annalisa – thank you so much … just glad it fitted the bill …

@ Denise – how lovely of you – such kind words … and I enjoyed my travels –thank you!

@ Steve – I’m so glad to read I tempted your green fingers through the roses and other plants …

@ Liza – oh I too would love to be back there – enjoying that garden!

@ Alex – yes the pond is still there, and it looks like the garden is being well looked after …

@ Mel – thank you … yes, the seasons we have lived through make up our lives – don’t they … and as you say family and friends have gone, yet memories are there for us to bring to the fore: occasionally and when we feel the need to remember …

Wonderful comment – thank you …

@ Diane – thank so much … I love that idea of your friend – for all her friends to plant a tree in her memory – which will be there for the future. Especially an indigenous tree …

@ Jo – many thanks … just happy you enjoyed the read ..

@ Kathleen – that’s a lovely idea the fallen branches being hugged by nature …

@ Donna – many thanks – really appreciate your comment and thoughts here … I’m happy to read you enjoy your visits …

I had a lovely time with some special friends for a special occasion ..

@ DG – thanks for picking up on the perfumed scents … I often took something in for my mother from their garden, and my uncle too loved seeing his wife’s flowers being enjoyed so much …

The garden and I are in the northern hemisphere – but they and I loved Africa too … as too nature makes the most of life … so good to read about your plum tree … with that view of the woodpeckers coming to find bugs …

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nicola – many thanks … their garden was stunning – a haven for so many and so much life … and yes home-made shortbread would be nice wouldn’t it …

@ Sai – so pleased you enjoyed the post and good to see you …

@ Sally – many thanks for visiting .. and am delighted you enjoyed it along with the photos …

@ Diane – I think the new owners are looking after the garden, so it looks like it will be loved too …

@ Yolanda – good to see you ... and thank you so much; the challenge has brought many memories to light … but as Deborah says it’s not flash fiction – which others wrote up … I’m looking forward to reading the others …

@ Joanne – many thanks – peaceful their garden was … I had a great visit.

@ Beste – thanks so much .. it’s been good to remember them

@ Lee – lovely words and thoughts … it’s the way I remember them and their garden

@ Melissa – what a pleasure to find you here … and honestly what a wonderful comment … my eyes mist up at times – when I’m near their house and garden … but I was honoured to be able to share their latter years.

What a great treat that you were able to relate it to your grandmother’s garden and her time. I’m sure it was a stunning garden … and the fact it meant so much to her – which at times you were able to share with her. Yes my uncle and I did quite a lot of gardening together …

I think you should ask the new owners … and I’m sure they’d be delighted to have you back at their home, in your grandmother’s garden for your daughter’s senior portraits … I sincerely hope they will see the reason for the occasion and thus ‘ask’ … I’m sure it won’t be an obligation … let’s hope they agree … good luck.

@ Denise – thanks for the second ‘fly-by’!!

@ Mason – lovely to see you enjoyed the post …

@ Bish – oh thank you so much … I wish the images were of their garden, but they’re not – similar: yes.

@ Monti – another idea: thank you … I could, I think, utilise that thought – wonderful comment – thank you … they’d have loved to have known I’d been able to give back … perhaps I can do it for the local hospice – yes … a brilliant thought!

@ Susan – so many thanks … it was a wonderful place to visit and be a part of …

@ Anabel – thank you …

@ Michael – lovely comment Michael – thank you so much …

Cheers to you all – so good to read you could all relate and my memories brought back some of your own … so much appreciated … cheers Hilary

Rhonda Albom said...

Lovely memories. Beautiful flowers.

Susan Scott said...

So so beautiful Hilary thank you so much! A delight, each and every picture! And the shortbread photo was an unexpected delight among the natural flora! Of course it is the way to fully enjoy a beauteous garden and glorious memories with a cup of tea and shortbread to hand - (home made cake and scones, Devon cream and strawberry jam would put me in heaven too).

Enjoy your time away!

diedre Knight said...

Oh this is lovely! I feel as if I just spent a year in Heaven's garden with an angel for my guide. And what else would we have in a garden so grand but shortbread and English tea? Stunningly beautiful, Hilary.

Pat Hatt said...

Wonderful memories of garden's past indeed. They can sure live on and touch more long after one is gone, creating more memories and delight for all.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Truly lovely and loving memories. And perhaps they did not go into the cold but into one another's embrace. Touching, fine post, Hilary. :-)

TexWisGirl said...

awww. so sweet.

would love to have shortbread and tea and visit in the garden. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Rhonda - many thanks ...

@ Susan - yes tea with shortbread after a day's gardening ... as you say what could be better ... Cornish or Devon cream and strawberry jam on scones - heaven as well!

@ Diedre - so delighted you enjoyed the read through ... nothing is much better than homemade shortbread and tea - I agree!

@ Pat - I think the garden seems to be doing that ... I certainly hope so and they'd be so pleased ...

@ Roland - I'm sure they went off into each other's embrace and definitely family times - thanks Roland, so glad you appreciated the post ...

@ Theresa - they were a lovely and loving couple ... while tea on the stoep (balcony) overlooking the pond and the garden was such a good sight ...

Thanks so much for visiting .. cheers Hilary

PS we're in for a hot week - so the gardens will be suffering somewhat ...

Lynn said...

Such a lovely post, Hilary. How you must miss them. Love the thought of that beautiful garden.

I hope you are having a nice away time!

Feather Stone said...

Ah, here you are. So wonderful to find your beautiful garden. I love the yellow spurge and have been meaning to get a plant for my garden. Next year. Always next year. I start planning next year's already. Thanks for the beautiful entry in the WEP hop. Blessings

Crystal Collier said...

Beautiful ambiance. I loved it. Such a sweet mood and lovely mental picture. You make me nostalgic for my childhood hideaways.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lynn - thanks so much ... I do miss them and the garden ... but I had a lovely time away ...

@ FeatherStone - good to see you .. the yellow spurge is an incredible yellow isn't it - beautiful plant. Well done on planning your garden in advance ... I'm glad you enjoyed the post ...

@ Crystal - so pleased and thanks for your comment. Yes our childhood hideaways in the gardens we knew - I could be a child here ...

Cheers to the three of you and thank you for your visit .. Hilary

Inger said...

Oh, Hilary, what a lovely piece of writing. It touched my heart. Gardens are in your hearts, it doesn't matter where in the world you end up, I would always picture an English person with a garden and a cup of tea.

Gattina said...

Such touching memories !

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

I have no idea what inspired this, but it is a wonderful piece of evocative writing, Hilary. And beautifully illustrated. Lovely. And thought-provoking.

Ann Best said...

Gardens and people, such wonderful often poignant often bittersweet memories - so many loved ones gone, some gardens gone too, but some that remain. Such lush photographs, such beauty. And as Mike says above, truly evocative writing - your talents honed by years of blogging, sharing such beauty through words and visual images. I appreciate your continuing to uplift and inspire us, dear friend. Thank you!

Elsie Amata said...

What a wonderful way for the niece to remember her aunt and uncle. Such beautiful pictures and the way you shared it with us was just as touching. Thank you.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

How wonderful it would be to walk through a garden like the one you describe, to relish the fruits of many years worth of hard work. One of the joys of a garden is long after we are gone, the flowers we plant can continue to bring others joy.

Murees Dupé said...

Beautiful. Those gardens were lovely. The words, definitely powerful. Hoping you stay well, Hilary. Enjoy your time away.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Inger – thank you so much … I knew you’d enjoy the thoughts conveyed here, after your time in England. Tea in the garden is therapy to the soul … especially if there’s some shortbread!

@ Gattina – thank you …

@ Mike – I wrote something after my uncle died and have wanted to post it … but it was too personal, and this WEP entry gave me the opportunity to update the entry … so I appreciate your comment very much.

@ Ann – we live with our loved ones in and through gardens – and as you say often with poignant, bittersweet memories.

I certainly have my style for writing … but I do love bringing things to life and offering thoughts to remind us about our lives. So glad you enjoyed the post …

@ Elsie – many thanks ... they were certainly special people – and I enjoyed being able to write this up …

@ Susan – it was always glorious … at whatever time of year – nature lived there: providing for many. I think the new owners are enjoying their space … the garden looks well cared for.

@ Murees – good to see you … and I had a happy time away with friends celebrating years of life …

Thank you so much – you’ve all brought back many memories for me … and it was a great choice of WEP – thanks Yolanda and Denise … cheers to everyone Hilary

Christine Rains said...

Lovely pictures and even more beautiful words. :)

Chrys Fey said...

I love gardens. I wish I had memories of some as you do. The pictures are so pretty, too. Thanks for sharing!

Sherry Ellis said...

Lovely post! I wish I had known about this. I might have participated on my garden blog.

Friko said...

A wonderful post about a wonderful pair of gardeners and an equally wonderful garden.

Gardens are something special, extraordinary oases for the wounded and restless spirit.
I wish I could have roamed in the garden described so beautifully here.

Silvia Villalobos said...

Ah, beautifully written, Hilary. Memories that call us back to talk to us once more. I loved reading this. You placed me in that garden, where I saw the flowers, smelled their sweet aroma, felt the wind's embrace.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Christine - thanks so muc,h the pictures do remind me of their garden ...

@ Chrys - I think I spent so much time there in recent years caring for my uncle ... it was as though I lived there ...

@ Sherry - pity ... but I'm sure you could still write a post and be added in to the list ... check in with Yolanda or Denise perhaps?

@ Friko - yes they fitted that bill having created a beautiful garden ...

There was room to roam here - and I can quite believed you'd have loved their garden ... and known many more of the plants than I do - in fact I can see you both having tea there ... as music and knowledge would have abounded in that incredible setting of peace ... all four of you happily getting on ...

@ Silvia - I have memories from their garden ... new ones come back - and now I'm thinking of other gardens in my life ... love your idea of where we could perhaps smell the scents from the range of plants as the wind embraced us all ...

Wonderful to see you all - thanks so much for visiting .. Hilary

Summer said...

Your memories and photos are beautiful! And that shortbread looks delightful ♥

summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Summer - lovely to see you here ... oh shortbread's always good isn't it! Cheers Hilary