It didn’t take long for my family and friends to finish Nora’s garden. After completing the yellow-brick road, we laid weed barrier and decided where the transplants would go. I invited all to bring a plant from their existing garden to go into Nora’s Garden—a little bit of love from those that love her. Family and friends not only brought transplants, but garden art to reflect their feelings. My BF Holly brought shallow bowls she made with cement and hosta leaves from her own garden, and she gave each sister in attendance one of her creations. I have mine siting near the start of the yellow brick road. On it sits an iron fairy that Holly had found for me.
Along the yellow-brick road we placed a scarecrow—a gift from my family and friends via a certificate to a local garden center. I have found representations for the witch, and Dorothy, but need to find a tin man and a lion. These will be things I will continue to look for in my garden center excursions.
My brother Bob and his wife Nancy brought a few ‘baby’ hostas. One of them is called ‘Remember Me’. They also found a heart shaped stone, which was placed in the yellow-brick road. Eventually I will have ‘Nora’ painted on it. My sister Patti and her husband Gary brought a Lambs Ear—a soft, fuzzy plant with leaves that resemble large ears that any child would love to touch. Patti also found a small garden trowel and had ‘Nora’s Garden (heart) 6-22-13 With Love’ inscribed on it. It is beautiful and I am hesitant to put it in the garden, as I do not want it degraded by the elements. Sister Candy brought some yellow oriental lilies, which add a bright spot to the center of the garden. Candy also gifted me with the lovely tricycle found along the yellow brick road next to the Curly Worley plant that represents the Wicked Witch. Sister Sue gave me a wonderful stone with an inscription of ‘Those that we hold in our arms a moment, we hold in our hearts forever’—so very true of Nora. Brother Tom, who couldn’t be at the construction of the garden, just this week dropped off two Aldo Leopold-style benches that he built in child size for the garden. One will be inscribed with Nora’s name, and as I have other grandchildren, their names will be added to the benches. Although my other sibs, Don and Mary Jo, could not be with us, I know they were there in spirit.
My friends were just as generous. Holly provided a Coral Bell, Bleeding Heart, Coneflower, and some Irises. Pat provided a purple Cat Mint, which has a hummingbird that visits daily. Julie stopped by several days later with a large box full of Stella de Oro’s which make a wonderful border around the outside of the garden. All of these friends, along with Harriet and Joan, purchased a beautiful birdbath for the center of the garden.
Nora’s Awesome Aunt Kristi came down for a visit the weekend after it was done. She brought along a couple of fairy garden ornaments and placed them in the garden. My job was to find them. I found one in the lilac tree and felt it wasn’t prominent enough and moved it to the Weeping Pea Vine tree, a perfect place for the fairy. The other one is a garden stake and floats along side the yellow-brick road.
Nora’s Great Grandmother found many items to put into the garden. A beautiful garden fairy sits underneath the weeping tree. A stepping-stone that says ‘Love Blooms Here’ sits next to a beautiful daisy in bloom. Several other diminutive garden ornaments sit among the flowers and stepping-stones of the garden.
At the very beginning of the yellow-brick road sits ‘Toto’, a garden planter that my wonderful daughters gave to me for Christmas. It was to represent my two bichon dogs, but now has commandeered a prominent spot in Nora’s Garden.
Each stone, each plant, each bloom, each garden ornament represents to me the love I have for Nora. It is a living, breathing memorial to my first granddaughter and will forever remind me of her. The moments I spend in the garden will be the moments I spend with her.
Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and for the soul. ~Linda Solegato