Yard Art, Long Forgotten

The First Gardener

One touch of Nature makes the whole world kin.”


I am reading a wonderful book about the rambling adventures of a man building a garden in the French countryside – and, there was a bit of literary humor as the author talked about his memory of the first gardener he ever knew. He attributed many to his love of gardening – but, always beckoned back to that first gardener who taught him how to be “at one” with the garden – not to demand too much – and to walk in a peaceful way, puttering along.

That got me thinking…

“Who was the first gardener I remember in my life?” What about you? Do you remember a certain someone?

For me…I have been blessed with several amazing gardeners. But, my first memory of the “puttering…overall wearing…got to eat quickly and get outside…a pot for every plant…a bit eccentric…gardener” – had to be my great Uncle Jimmy, long passed.

He had chickens, berry bushes, camellias, nut trees, flowers blooming everywhere…and pots of houseplants to give away to any visitor. And all sorts of kitsch – from Grecian vases to whirlygigs.

I remember walking behind him, in his large shadow, on those hot Summer days when he was not working at the shipyard. He would mumble alongside his flower beds telling me what each one’s name was and why it was there. Sometimes, he just mumbled…now, I believe he was just having his own conversation with his plant friends….a language I had not learned yet.

I am sure I have many more forgotten memories of his home. I wish I had paid more attention to those precious times.

My mom and I were able to visit the old homeplace late last year to walk around and take some photos.

Below is a photo of one of his pieces of yard art now lifted high into the tree trunk – left there, forgotten after his death.

It struck me deeply – to see the tree giving homage to my great Uncle in such a way…lifting up a piece of his treasure to the heavens where he lives in a perpetual garden of his own.

Gosh, I miss him.

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