Thursday, September 20, 2012

Not My Birthday

But it's my mom's, a big one that I'm sure she'd rather just ignore for a myriad of reasons this year. But seeing as she planted a seed 'o' nature in me--or it's at least convenient to think so--this blog post will honor her. Really, I think when my parents moved us up to Minnesota is when nature opened up to me, especially as I was on the edge of my teenager moody years. My solitary nature, penchant for introspection, and USDA hardiness zone four's distinct seasons collided and turned me into a garden god. Wait. Strike that. Just a minor deity.

I've lost the images I took of my mom's garden before they moved from my childhood home--they may still be on some rolls of real film in a drawer. There was an extensive rock garden out front across the whole hillside, and out back a shade garden with stream and small pond. I asked her to walk the landscape on my last visit in 2006 or 2007 and we mapped out each plant, I even did some sketches:

My "drawing"
Nature's "drawing"

Here's an interview Fran Sorin did at Gardening Gone Wild about growing up outside with my mother.

And maybe you'd like to read an excerpt from my unpublished memoir, Morning Glory, which has a most lovely elevator pitch: "When a relationship between mother and son meets in the garden, her past confronts his future."

But really, this is what you should read, also from the memoir: my essay "Across the Flats" about our car trip to a new nursery in Minnesota after the big move.


Molly said...

Wow. I read "Across the Flats" and wow. Thanks for telling us about it and posting it.

Gardening said...

In my case my mother and me are learning together and because of that we have found a common passion.

She in her patio and me in my garden are discovering together how marvelous is to help the nature go through.

Have a nice celebration with your mum!

Best Regards
Garden Chair

Benjamin Vogt said...

Molly--Wow, thank you! I love your comment, and that my words connected to you. Can I ask, have you read my book Sleep, Creep, Leap? (I must've sold 20 of them when I talked at a garden club in Wichita this summer, so it can't stink too bad, so it you might like it.)
GC--It's so important to have that commonality, and to be friends into adulthood. I'm glad you have it!