THE FUNNY FARMER: An astonishingly boring, painful, humorous and occasionally insightful approach to gardening and life as amom, a former psychotherapist, and apparently a life-long patient.


My name is Cherie and I live in Southern Maine with my husband and two young children. I have a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology and still have about 10k in remaining student loans to prove it. I left the field of practice three years ago, so this is not the place to be posting any suicide notes, okay? But if you want to hear about my garden and my gremlins, my pests and my problems, well then you just sit right down and read on!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Mother's Garden

As Mother's Day has been approaching, I have been doing my gardening with motherhood on my mind.  I have been thinking about the cultivators, the nurturers, the harvestors, the gatherers, the chefs, and the makers of beauty.  I think about roots, seeds, blossoming, providing, and nourishing .  We have so much in common, gardens and mothers.  And for me, the garden is where I go to rejeuvenate myself.  Not in a lawn chair, but wandering and working, pulling weeds and observing changes. 

One of the early projects in my garden came with budget considerations and serendipity.  I asked my mother and my mother-in-law for some babies from their gardens, and both of them gifted me with Periwinkle.  The periwinkle from my mother's garden was actually planted by her mother, my maternal grandmother, because that's where my parents now live.  For best effect, I combined the Periwinkles from two different locations and planted them in a ring around a large oak tree in our back yard. 

It wasn't until after they were planted that I became sentimental.  This flower bed is a combined legacy of both my and my husband's mothers, and from both of my children's grandmothers.  I simply LOVE this bed!

Another contribution from my maternal grandmother is jonquils, which are also in bloom right now.  After she passed, the cottage she lived in by the ocean was in such bad shape that my parents had it taken down, put up a new house on the same foundation, and moved in.  The "taking down" process was going to ruin Grammie's flower beds, so I took some bulbs from her garden, a bed that I often weeded as a Mother's Day gift to her, and planted them in the garden of a wonderful old apartment building I lived in for five years.  When we made the move to  a house, there was no question that the jonquils would join us.  Aren't they sweet?  Miss you, Gram!

Now my Paternal Grandmother lived in the same home for at least fifty years, and the flower that most reminds me of her is the lilac.  My mother had white lilacs, but I was always soooo admired Grammie's dark purple ones.  They were in an intensely sunny spot behind her house where I often played with my cousins.  I vividly recall the luxurious scent of those gorgeous blooms!  With every inhalation of lilacs, I think of my grandmother and her house.  When we bought our house, it came with MANY lilac bushes, but none of them were getting nearly enough sun.  I recall one of my first serious gardening efforts being the relocation of multiple lilac bushes.  There are so many that I divided them and have given many away.  Mine are light purple (see pic), but part of my garden visions include a dark purple lilac just like my grandmother's.  Hmmmm...... I wonder who lives in that house now... And if it would be weird if.......

Anyway...  I have to say that my biggest "gardening for beauty" inspiration has been my mother-in-law.  In fact, I think that she is a descendent of.... is it Linneus?  A Swede who documented and classified hundreds of species of plants and flowers?  I'll double check on that.  My MIL's garden is gorgeous and fills her with a lot of satisfaction and pride.  She will not travel or plan any medical procedures in the sprintime because it would interfere with her gardening.  Some of the things she has taught me is the "one person's weed..." lesson (see photo below of a wild strawberry), and that tree stumps make wonderful plant holders.  She believes in natural beauty that is cared for.  Here are some pics from my garden, all inspirations or donations from my wonderful MIL.


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