Looking towards the future while remembering the past.

Today has been a huge day in the garden in more ways than one.  I put in some hard yakka, but there was also an emotional edge to my time with my hands in the soil.

Last year I asked the family to dig me a flower garden for mother’s day so I could fill it with loads of pretty things that smell nice.  However it has nearly been a whole year since the soil was lovingly turned by my blokes and it turns out flower gardening is just as much work as a veggie garden with all the weeding, watering and dead heading.

Nana's flower
Nana’s flower

It hasn’t been too much of a disaster as I have some pink cosmos, and some dahlias languishing in the remaining warmth of a weakening sun.  Then there is a pink plant that its name escapes me right now, but it was my nanas and I inherited when she moved into the old folk’s home.  I feel blessed to have it in my garden as she is no longer with us.

There is also hiding beneath the soil some gladioli bulbs that I hope will grace us with their presence this year if I promise to stake them so they don’t end up with all their faces in the mud.  I honestly didn’t know that would happen… they looked so strong.

That's some pile of weeds!
That’s some pile of weeds!

But this morning I looked out at the garden and despite the splashes of colour all I saw was weeds and I couldn’t have that – not today, so I spent a good couple of hours scrabbling about in the dirt ripping out weeds, without damaging the existing plants.  Shame prevents me from showing you the before photo as it really was a weedy mess that no one would be proud of, especially after the effort that the boys went to, to make it a nice garden for me in the first place.  I managed to haul out a large pile that I sent off to the compost pile.

The next thing I did will bright my day in months to come.  I planted my spring bulbs.  I planted 40 daffodils, 40 tulips and 20 ranunculus.  It should be an amazing display.  I have to say it was really nice to have somewhere to actually put them in the ground this year, as in the past I put them in buckets with holes drilled in the bottom as our ground is too damp to put them in over winter as they would just drown.  My flower garden has been created on higher ground so no chance of rotting bulbs.  I am so excited; I can’t wait to see them.

Gorgeous spring colour
Gorgeous spring colour

The final thing I did was more of a tradition to mark respect.  Today is ANZAC day and it is a day where we all stop and remember the brave soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom.  The day always makes me feel really emotional.  They did that for us!  They didn’t even know me.  Here we are in a tiny country at the bottom of the world and when we are needed, we step up to be counted.  We, as a tiny country in the bottom of the world, paid a really high price in World War 1 and World War 2 and wars since and we are still stepping up to be counted today.  I am so proud to be a kiwi.

Lest we forget.
Lest we forget.

The Flanders Poppy is a symbol of that sacrifice and a wonderful way to pay our respects is to sow the seeds today, then when they flower in the summer we can think of that amazing sacrifice all over again.  We all scattered seeds into my freshly cleared flower garden and then stood for a minute to remember.  It is always really moving.

Come again soon – there is still loads of stuff to sow, grow and harvest in the veggie garden.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

15 thoughts on “Looking towards the future while remembering the past.

  1. With the gift of another year and another year in which to live, we deepen our understanding of how dreadfully short so many lives were cut because of the war – how much living those brave people were deprived of. A garden is a beautiful place to value peace.
    Like you, I have all sorts of plants in my garden that represent a memory of a special person or a special time. We are in our eighth year of harvesting seeds from Dad’s runner beans. My grandmother’s flower is the Cecile Brunner rose (where the monarch butterflies chose to avoid the wasps and spin their chrysalises). Is your Nana’s special flower an echinacea? Just guessing. I could be wildly wrong!

    1. Hi There. I did a bit of research and think Nanas flower is an African Daisy (Osteospermum). I think it is really pretty.
      Gardens are a fabulous place to take time to reflect on all sorts of things. I always feel so much more at peace after time spent in my garden.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. To get to our village we drive along a mile stretch of road with wheat/barley/rape seed and pea crops the whole length, either side. Last June – August all over the country, our road included, there was masses of poppies in amongst the crops.One of the fields we passed had over 50% red poppies, with several others playing host to between 20-30%. It was a breath taking sight, although the farmers weren’t too impressed.

    I think the general consensus was that the constant rain had caused a higher percentage failure in the crops which, in turn, had allowed the poppies to push through and take over, leading to the greater than a average number of flowers.

    I think the farmers are hoping for a better crop to poppy ratio this year but I think it’ll be a while before the image of that sea of red fades from the memory of many of us – it was very poignant.

    1. Hi There. It is amazing how these symbols can trigger such intense emotion and something as simple as a flower growing wild or in a garden is the perfect thing to stop us from forgetting what has happened in the past. We should never forget and should definitely never repeat it. Half of me hopes your poppy fields come back again this year as it must have been a spectacular sight, but the other half feels for the poor farmers.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. Thanks for the lovely comments, and now you have resolved me to plant poppies for more than just their red beauty. Keep up the great posts, I always love reading your writings.

  4. Definitely a good day to plant those seeds! I’m assuming they are poppy seeds…such a lovely, lovely, delicate flower.
    I learned gladiolas like to have their “faces in the dirt” unless you either stake them, or, what I did, plant them right along the house to protect them from wind. The house seems to give them the support they need and prevents them from getting blown over. I also discovered a variety that is shorter…they still have the beautiful blooms, but don’t grow so tall so they don’t end up in the dirt.

    1. Hi Jenn. I have discovered flower gardening isn’t actually as easy as I thought it would be. Flowers are quite fickle, fussy things. I’ll definitely stake the gladiolis early in the season.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  5. I have to say that you will ALWAYS have nana’s flower if your African Daisy is like ours ;). It really does make you proud to be a relative of an ANZAC doesn’t it? We all have tales of our grandparents and great grandparents wars and we really do owe it to them to remember the sacrifices that they made in the name of Queen and country. Love the idea of the flanders poppies. I might heavily fortify an area of Serendipity Farm and see if I can’t get a few to grow this year :). Lovely post and good to see that someone else has a plethora of weeds growing! Too ashamed to show the garden here at the moment…hopefully the frost will kill a few of the weeds! 😉

  6. It seems funny reading about you planting your bulbs as I am just watching mine get ready to flower having planted them last November.

    Nana’s flower is an osteospermum. I grew them last year from seed and pulled them out when they had finished flowering only to discover when checking the seed packet that they were a perennial variety!
    Luckily I still had one left and over-wintered it in the greenhouse. I planted it back in the garden last week. I love the flowers. They just make you smile 🙂

    1. Hi there. Its great to know that having Nanas flower in my garden is something I can keep for a long time and is a bit like a living memory. I am so blessed to have it.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  7. Thank you from across the trench. Our soldiers and yours stood strong to give us freedom. You paid them a great tribute here. xox

Leave a Reply