There is nothing like garden dirt -- dark, cool, clumpy yet yielding, earthy. Just add flowers. Planting flowers can turn any frown upside down. Talking to them as they grow brings me smiles and chuckles along with a very special memory.
One day a long time ago when we were children, my Dad was out planting annuals in the back garden. He loved gardening when he had the time to do it, and if he could amuse his three daughters at the same time, well that really was a red letter day. So on this one morning, my sisters and I with noses pressed tight up against the bedroom window screen, watched Dad plant pansies. For our entertainment, he talked to his little plants in a voice, not unlike that of the late Jonathan Winter's character, Maude Frickert.
An old reedy, wheezy voice with a bit of a southern drawl wafted up to the window, "Well aren't you just a little cutie. Let's just get you set up right in here. Oh, such a sweetie. Now, what about your other little friends here? They want a special place just like you. Oops, don't you worry about those little wormies. They're your friends too."
We hung on every word, suppressing giggles and jostling each other. What neither we nor Dad knew was that our neighbour, hidden by the fence, was also crouched down in her garden not two metres away from Dad. Then we saw her face appear as she stood to peer over the fence to investigate the chatter. I well remember her squinty quizzical eyes focussed squarely on her neighbour's back.
Dad kept right on talking to the flowers, "Oh look at you, such a pretty yellow dress."
He must have felt her stare. He oozed his head around to look toward the fence then turned back. His chin dropped to his chest and he hung there shaking his head. He seemed to be muttering something, probably an expletive or three.
Words from the other side of the fence penetrated the air. "Well they are pretty aren't they?"
We slid from our places at the window, hands clutching our mouths, giggles bubbling up inside us.
So yes, I talk to my plants, and not just the pansies.
They all are good listeners and together we enjoy many a lovely chat come sun or cloud. There are no little faces pressed up against a window screen watching me and no neighbours listening in, but I'm never alone. My Dad is always right there beside me chatting away. It's a family tradition!
|Dad & Mom 1971|
©2018 April Hoeller