As a child my recollections are that I worked in gardens all summer long. My Grandparents had many "beds" in their home garden. They seemed to work constantly at them. I recall many roses, but no other specifics--except weeds.
My job was to pull weeds. I spent my summers pulling weeds. and when I wasn't pulling weeds at my grandparents' home, I was pulling weeds from the many beds in my mother's home garden. and when I wasn't doing that, I was pulling weeds from the many beds at our summer lake home.
I remember the various weeds, their personalities, their characteristics, their traits. I never knew their names, though. I don't remember much of anything about the actual flowers because I was never engaged to be part of their lives. I think it was purely sexist, that I only was assigned to the weeds. I was a boy. Boys didn't deal with flowers. My girl cousins got to plant flowers and be part of their lives. I only ended lives.
Six or so decades later, I have a garden. I detest pulling weeds.
The first thing I recall planting and growing is pot. I was a young adult and owned six acres, including a woods with a clearing. I planted a bunch of pot seeds in the clearing, then somewhat worked to nurture their growth. Pot is more of a weed than a flower or plant. So I felt akin to it.
It wasn't about having pot. It was about being rebellious, at first. Then it was about creating new life. My horticultural experience had only been about killing and cutting things. Pulling weeds, cutting grass, pruning trees. This was the first time I grew something. I loved my pot plants.
When the pot plants matured I harvested them. I did a good job of drying out some of the plants which ended up in a giant baggie in my basement above the heat ducts. I had neglected most of the plants and instead of drying they got moldy. I dried it all out in the oven and put it in an even bigger baggie and gave it to my friend Phil. Phil was like Mikey who would eat anything. Phil would smoke anything. He also drank anything. I did the latter later on in life--ugh--not part of the story yet.
I never grew pot again, and forgot about the baggie above the heat duct until the new husband of a good friend came to visit. This guy was a Brit. He was a scoundrel and a pig. I have no idea why my friend married him. I suppose it was the accent. My friend was a bit over-enamored with exotic things.
I was working with my brother on a new computer golf game. I had a tiny office in my basement, the heating ducts above. The night the scoundrel visited I showed him the game in development. He was a computer guy. We had some fun playing it. He gave me an evil look, reached into his shirt pocket, and saying "look what I have" pulled out a tiny joint. That's when I remembered the baggie. I reached up above the ducts and felt that the bag was still there. I pulled down about half a pound of pot.
We Americans always do things in a bigger way. Ha ha.
The next time I grew anything was in a small rented apartment over a garage overlooking Suttons Bay--a body of water in northern Michigan. I found a small planter in the garage--about twenty inches by five inches. I hung it on the front wall of the garage and planted some impatiens in it. I got some Miracle-Gro and fertilized the impatiens every week. I kept them properly watered. Google made knowing what to do very easy.
By the end of the summer my tiny "garden" was massively bursting with flowers and growth. That was very exciting to me. The feeling of helping nurture such beauty was very satisfying. I did that for another summer or two until I gave up the apartment. For reasons I can't explain I never tried to grow anything at my home. My wife handled that.
Then she died. Over that period of time my life changed a lot. The intro to the right tells the story a bit. I moved into a small duplex apartment near the home I had bought at age twenty-four. My son took over the big house. My backyard consisted of an extension of my gravel drive, two giant cedars at the back of the lot under which all sorts of green but weedy stuff grew, and what you could barely call a lawn under a large spreading female maple tree that had never been pruned in its youth--hence the suckers had grown into countless limbs.
It didn't matter because at the time I was carrying on the wake from my prior losses and had no energy or desire to venture into the yard.
But that changed. This is that story, a story about a beginning, of my life and of my garden. Gardens are immortal. If you care for them they become bigger and stronger every year. There's great irony in the dichotomy, the contrast of my inevitable decline over my remaining years and--if I'm loyal and diligent to it--the rise of my garden.
Let's see what happens.
In a movie