Are their ghosts in your garden? Im happy to say that I share my heritage, both real and remembered, with generations of gardeners who have gone before me. Family members, friends, some I have never actually met but know from the stories that were told to me- we are all part of an unbroken line that I now hold the end of - who will I hand it to?
Perhaps there are long-empty raised beds, or the skeleton of a grape arbor, long abandoned. But the bones of a garden someone once loved are there, ghosts if you will, spirits held in time for all who will feel their magic and take up the trowel to carry on . . .
This is the family of Joseph Schneider, the builder of my house. He was listed on public record as having the occupation of "Gardener". He was the first gardener, I am the current one.
As soon as I moved into my “ new” old house it became obvious that the grounds had once been the realm of a true gardener. The clues appeared everywhere, the statuesque oaks trees, mature flowering shrubs, the scraggly rose that still hugged the porch post. When our first spring came around the scores of tender shoots and emerging bulbs were a daily treat. Sweet surprises left for my delight by the generations before me.
These girls are having too much fun, and wouldnt I like to have that wheelbarrow ! - They all lived in the house I now call mine, and their spirits remain in the garden that I now tend, carrying on a tradition rooted in the feel of the earth.
My garden mentor, my grandfather - here in the most dapper outfit ever! I personally never saw him in anything but bib overalls, and I continue to carry that tradition on today - overalls are my favorite attire for gardening or for any creative activity!
And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see - or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.
I never saw this garden, but my mother spoke of it all through her life, and her remembrances of this place were so strong and sacred to her. She is sitting here in an arbor with her younger sister.
The gardener was a woman called "Gusty", a ghost to me but a very real presence to my mother. Pleasant memories make everything real.
I must close with some seasonal fun - these are some of my favorite garden pals, doing what we love to do at the end of the season - making "Witches Bundles' from herbs and dried grasses. Created to hang by the door as protection from the mean spirits of this season, its our way of both honoring and laughing at the ancient traditions of herbal lore, and a good excuse to be outside enjoying Autumn's delights.