My Two Little Gardens

Posted 7/19/23

To the Editor,

  I have two little gardens outside my small apartment. One is in the front and the other  in the back. I've been tending to these gardens since I've lived here, so it's …

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My Two Little Gardens


To the Editor,

  I have two little gardens outside my small apartment. One is in the front and the other  in the back. I've been tending to these gardens since I've lived here, so it's about 8 years now. The first sign of spring now produces many patches of daffodils, which are the first to appear in the front. To me they are the happiest of flowers after a long winter. They shine and confirm to me that life is returning after a cold dead winter. Since these are the last of the flowers that I named however, I will talk about how they got their name later.

 The first plant I actually named was my wonderful yellow rose bush. The lady who lived here before me went into a nursing home and she was in her 90s when I inherited this bush, and it was in dire need. Now it almost always looks like it's dead; but still produces again and again the most gorgeous yellow roses all season.  Therefore, I call this my Lazarus bush. Every time I look at it, I pray for this faceless lady that I never met.

     The next plant that I named is my Joseph hydrangea. The reason for this name is that I relocated it. It started out as a little tiny hydrangea plant from the altar of my church. I knew it was going to get too big so I moved it over to the side out of the garden. And sure enough it showed it's gorgeous dark blue coat of color and this plant is now Joseph because of its transplant like Joseph to Egypt. He too did very well, when he was moved against his will.

 My morning glories climb the fence  in one direction and a shepherd's hook in the other. As they travel and climb, I am reminded of the Tower of Babel and I think of all the many cultures  in the world and people with different languages and pray for peace.

 My many herbs - parsley, sage, rosemary,  thyme, mint, oregano, basil, chives,  lavender, and cilantro are my personal manna reminding me of the story of Moses when he left Egypt to wander in the desert.  God provided for him and he provides for me everyday. I use them along with some of my neighbors; all summer long, to enhance our tea and our culinary delights. And I am grateful to God for all his gifts.

    In order for gardens to be beautiful, they require quite a lot of work and tending to - just like life. We have to water them and nurture them and not allow the weeds to take over. That is the same thing in all our relationships and in our life. We can't leave everything by the wayside for birds to eat or wild animals to destroy. The birds who can take away our joy are the narcissists and toxic people in our lives; and there are plenty of wild animals who follow Satan, who would like nothing better than to destroy us. It makes me aware to keep negativity and toxicity out of my life and to concentrate on its beauty.

 So as I thought about those daffodils again; all I could think about was that  they are the first to appear and are the most hopeful sign after the long winter.  They remind me of the face of Mary when she found out that she was to be the mother of God. How delighted she must have been after she got over the shock and fear. These flowers smile and shine and make me happy.  They are the first flowers that show their little faces.  Mary had an unbelievable strength to live the life that she led with a happy heart.  And Mary has always given me strength through times of difficulty in my family.

Of course my garden would not be complete if I didn't recognize Jesus in it. Not only does he show in Mary but he shows in every perennial. The small miracle of perennials are just an offshoot of the wonderful resurrection of Jesus from the dead. My garden reminds me  that every year when these plants return on their own year after year. My garden is like my faith and they both bring me immense  joy and happiness.

Peggy Porter Quinlan


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