A garden party

Thanks so much for having a virtual cuppa with me yesterday, and listening. Your words meant an awful lot.

spiky 2

Confession: I can never resist having a garden party every year about this time. 

Indoors.

Shari and Kelly

I bring into the laundry room all of my houseplants that need tending—trimming, repotting, dividing, and miscellaneous TLC—and then I start digging. A delightful small comrade joins me, and begs to do it herself. But I say We will do it together.

Kelly's hands

This is the purest of therapy for me, a little green oasis that will last me till spring.

african violet

I plant freshly-rooted stems into rich soil.

small pots

I upscale the spider plants that have outgrown their old lodgings.

Shari planting

(My husband comes in and starts shooting photos. I know; I’m not really dressed for potting plants, but I have a coffee break with a friend to slip in there. And I figure it all washes.)

I start garden seeds.

seeds

(Did I tell you we have a new camera? It’s amazing. Now we have to learn how to use it.)

(And no, this will not become a photo blog. Except for this post and maybe a few others I don’t know about yet.)

I pull off dead leaves and work up packed soil.

I mix and match colors—a central spike with purple Wandering Jew.

I savor the contrasts—daintiest shamrock flowers,

shamrock flowers

spikey cactus things whose name escapes me.

spiky 1

Most of these plants were gifts from people I love, for a birthday or a death or an exchange or a friendship. I remember their names in my heart as I work, and I say them to myself.

peace lily

My sister gave me the handsomest peace lily I’ve ever seen. The card says “He is safe. And someday you will hold him…” My heart broke a couple of weeks ago, and though I cannot bring myself to speak of it much just yet, I cannot help bumping into its edges: I have joined the women who have unborn babies with Jesus.

I put the peace lily into an enormous crock from my grandma. It is perfect.

metal planter

I replace all of my metal planters, or line them with plastic. I love the look of metal pots, especially antique pails salvaged from here and there, but I have had terrible success with growing plants in them. One plant got all spotted and died off, though it grew back in perfect health from its own roots when moved to another pot. Another developed leaf irritation where it touched the edges of the planter. Can this be this so?

leaf damage

I tell my son, Gardening is like art. It may not turn out exactly like you had in mind, but it’s going to be beautiful.

Yes, this is my hope.

plant 2

If you are local, I’d love to swap starts with you… Do you see something you like?

16 thoughts on “A garden party

  1. Love this!! I have a similar post sitting in my draft folders, on the subject of collecting plants from people I love. 🙂 I’m waiting on a promised peace lily from a friend before I post it. Wish I was a little closer — I would LOVE to swap starts!

    And so sorry about your little one. 🙁 The peace lily is the perfect remembrance plant.

  2. Oh Shari, I don’t even know you except through your blog, but I am so, so sorry about your baby. I’ve been there, too, more times than I thought possible. All that joy and expectation, and then emptiness. I pray you will feel deeply loved and comforted by the Father, Who lost His Son, too.

  3. I’m sorry Shari, hugs to you across the miles. I’m one of those moms, too. I’d love to swap plants, but it might be a little illegal across the border!

  4. Your “spikey cactus thing whose name escapes you” almost looks like my aloe vera plant…but not quite.
    I love the peace lily.
    And so sorry about your loss.

  5. Ah, Shari…
    My heart breaks with yours.
    It is not a club that I wish my friends to join with me. I am so sorry.
    May God’s peace be with you, and may His joy return after your mourning.

    As for the garden party, what a wonderful ritual. I have lost nearly all of my house plants in the last 2 years. I’m hoping that the new house will be a better place to rebuild my indoor garden. Now I know who to ask when I’m ready to plant!

  6. I was all set to awe about your houseplants and your wonderful mid-winter idea. But then I hit the peace lily and my heart weeps with you. I’m in that sisterhood too.

    You are on my prayer list.
    Gina

  7. I love your plants…and your blogs, all of them. 🙂 Seems there are lots of us mamas looking forward to meeting a precious little person some day. Blessings!

  8. I’m so glad you have a living, growing thing to remind you of your baby. Somehow the baby tears a friend gave me when I miscarried brought me hope every time I looked at them that this baby will not be forgotten, he is still living with Jesus, he will continue to live even if I look away, even if I begin to move on, to look forward to another baby. May you feel the same comfort and peace that Jesus is giving your little one.

  9. God bless you and your family, the ones here and with Him. He’s tending three precious ones for me as well, and even though it’s been over ten years, my heart still stumbles and my eyes mist when I hear of someone else experiencing this. I’ve come to believe that God created them for some very special reason, and though I don’t understand it, I’m grateful He allowed me to be involved. Such a brief time here, but they changed my life completely.

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