Suzie Secret Garden

Description

Hard to believe that my mother has been gone thirty-four years now, she was born in 1911 and seemed as though she could grow anything. She would be 103 years old this October. I was born her youngest child when she was forty-five years of age. She loved all of her children individually as if we were the only one. Her heart was golden and she was very generous with her love for her family as well as for my father. They both were inspirational to us. She always called me her old soul. This is where I learned the love of gardening and nature and being outside when I could.

I see what she found there, peace, tranquility and the bounty of your work as well as a certain grounding such as meditation does for you. My dad would mow the grass, and my mom enjoyed the planting and weeding part of it all. They were a good team. She always had the most beautiful flowers and shrubs. It seems she had a perfect green thumb. I think she has passed this down to me as well my daughter.

We come from a family of farmers in our past, and funny thing many years ago when I moved into my first home when I was twenty years old, I had a neighbor child ask me if I was a farmer, it was quite the compliment. I worked in my yard and planted flowers, shrubs, as well as a vegetable garden for many years. My mom Edna came from a different time and era and it was quite a different place than it is today. When she was born in 1911 William Howard Taft was serving as the 27th President of the United States, there was no federal income tax, not until 1913, we were still years away from the First World War, women weren’t allowed to vote until 1920, and movies didn’t have sound until 1926. Mom was a woman before her time as she had been a single, working eighteen-year-old mother with one daughter, until she met and married my father when she was in her thirties. It was true love and they showed it.

Dad's mother signed him up for the Navy when he was fifteen years of age. He was born in Lakeview, Oregon and his father got jobs at various farms along the West Coast and the children were helpers farming alongside their father. Dad could fix anything, or he learned, and was very ingenious like that. He was a hard worker and retired after thirty years in the United States Navy. I was brought up with my four older brothers, myself being born in 1956.

Mom loved azaleas, ever since we visited what used to be called Azalea Garden in Norfolk, Virginia, which now is called Norfolk Botanical Garden. I remember a specific trip to the gardens with myself and mom as we got a photo of Nana in front of the beautiful Azaleas. I was a child of six when my sweet Nana passed away, she was always so loving to each of her grandchildren and lived with us for a while up until her passing. Often we would visit the Gardens with other family members such as my Aunt June and her family. It was always so pretty in the springtime. I named my daughter Sarah after my Nana, she wore a rosewater cologne and to this day when I smell roses I think of her.

Mom planted and grew many azaleas in our yard as well as gardenias, and we all loved the fragrance it carried throughout the house with the windows opened. Mom had a golden heart and very loving and it showed in her children and grandchildren as well as her gardening. Our front yard in Aragona Village, in Virginia Beach, looked as though it was professionally done at times. Mom had her tulips her irises, and purple and white phlox lining the outskirts of the flower beds. She taught me a love of gardening. My favorites are gardenias and the memories they bring to me as well as roses and azaleas. My husband grew up right behind me in Aragona Village and his mother Ann and my mother would trade apples for cherries so they could make pies. Mom grew cherry trees and his mom grew apple trees.

My husband and I married in our thirties but have known each other for over fifty-plus years, we met when he was four and I was two years of age. We both grew up in military Navy families in Virginia Beach. We both love gardening. We moved back to Virginia Beach about three years ago after residing in Chesapeake, Virginia for many years where we raised our children. Now we are proud grandparents. My husband and I love the benefits of gardening and being able to eat healthier, as a cancer survivor, and for our health this is important to us. As we grow gracefully older it is nice to be able to eat healthy and pick it right out of our backyard. I have a blog started with much persistence from close friends and some family that would ask me what to do or information about gardening. It is really a different type of blog, not always directly about gardening but gardening for the soul and sprinkled with a little inspiration. I found that we can learn from everyone as long as we keep our heart open. Gardening is a constant learning process. Happy gardening ‘til next time!

Photos Show

The garden harvest.

The garden harvest.

Susan's granddaughter waters the garden.

Susan's granddaughter waters the garden.

Bread-and-butter pickles we made from the cucumbers in our garden.

Bread-and-butter pickles we made from the cucumbers in our garden.

Susan, the author, in her Virginia Beach garden.

Susan, the author, in her Virginia Beach garden.

Yellow irises in Susan's Virginia Beach garden.

Yellow irises in Susan's Virginia Beach garden.

Susan's parents Edna and Russel.

Susan's parents Edna and Russel.

Susan's mother Edna in 1924 at Virginia Beach.

Susan's mother Edna in 1924 at Virginia Beach.

Cite this Page

Suzie, “Suzie Secret Garden,” Community of Gardens, accessed August 21, 2017, http:/​/​communityofgardens.​si.​edu/​items/​show/​12107.​
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