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A gardening yardstick. Or, my earliest garden memory.





This is the garden of my early childhood.

To me, its herbaceous border stretched forever. At the end of the garden stood a weeping willow which seemed taller and grander than the one in the photo. One year, much to the horror of our mothers, Anthony and I climbed to the top of this tree, and, as imaginative children do, we took turns sprinkling laundry soap (pretend snow), whilst the other grasped armfuls of long, slender branches and slid to the ground.

Zinnias, Delphiniums, Campanula, Larkspur, Foxglove, and more filled that bed. I was dazzled. Smitten. Filled with awe and wonder. As childish jealousy’s go, I always thought it unfair my brother (William) had a heady-scented flower – the Sweet William named after him, and mine was the unfortunate-named Black-eyed Susan. (My given name was Susan). I can laugh about such silliness now.

Another memory is of the peony’s which flanked one side of the drive. I remember their perfumed red splendor. And on the bank behind the house, were raspberry canes, gooseberry bushes, and strawberry beds.

It is now, I reflect upon the impact these gardens had on me as a child. And, without being aware of it, I believe my parents instilled and nurtured within me, my love of gardening; that no matter where – be it apartment or otherwise, I always have a garden.