The view from the patio, 2014
Nostalgia: a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends. So many things spark this emotion in us. For me, one of the things that stirs this ‘wistful desire’ is my parents’ garden — or, as we call it, ‘the back yard’.
The main bed, 2014
The main bed, 2011
More than a garden, more than a collection of plants, this is part of my history. My maternal grandparents bought this house in Stratford, Ontario in the 1970s; my parents bought it from them in the late 1990s. I have never lived there, but for almost 40 years the house and the garden have been part of my life, the scene of large gatherings with family and friends, or smaller gatherings of my parents and me. Seeing these photos reminds me of those times and those people, some of whom are now dead but who still live in memory.
Of course, food and wine play a part in any gathering, regardless of size!
Canapes and champagne, my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary (2000)
Oysters Rockerfeller and champagne for two (2014)
Speaking of food, the garden is more than flowers.
The pear tree groaning with fruit.
Anyone for a tomato?
I planted those beans! (2015)
But let’s not forget the flowers …
Clematis “Dr. Ruppel”
A basket of fuscias
And what’s a garden without birds?
Birds on the feeder
One sparrow at the bird bath, early morning
Travelling to Canada from England or Australia plays havoc with my body clock, so I often wake up much earlier than usual. As you can see below, the garden is very peaceful soon after sunrise.
Early morning, 2007
All great gardens evolve, and this one is no different. The saga of the apple tree illustrates this well.
1996 — a tall, robust tree with lots of apples. (That’s an aunt and my grandfather doing yard cleanup.)
2004, and the tree is starting to suffer. That’s me in the hammock.
2007 — still producing some fruit, despite its odd ‘pom pom’ appearance. (That’s my parents harvesting.)
Oh dear. 2014, and nothing is left but a stump.
And, sadly, when autumn comes the garden must be emptied and readied for winter.
Empty garden bed
Dad cleaning up the vegetable garden.
October’s Garden Challenge theme is Favourite Gardens. This is definitely one of my favourites. (Many thanks to my mother for a lot of these photos!)