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  • Writer's pictureKim Elovirta

Friendship Gardens - Memories Live On

Friendship gardens for me are a web of relationships and memories that span a lifetime. I grew up on a dead-end street – known in many areas as a cul-de-sac. I never heard that term until my twenties to be honest. The sign at the beginning of the road said dead end. Now adays the signs read no outlet. Strange the terms we use. It was a young neighborhood when I was growing up with lots of children in the same age range. We played together, our parents gathered, and the neighbors became extended family.

When I built my house more than two decades ago, I needed plants. I pulled up to my parents that summer in my cheap divorcee truck with buckets and a shovel. My Dad was puzzled. I explained that Uncle Kenny had burning bush for me, Mrs. Amenta had white hydrangeas she needed thinned (they were taking over her bank and are now planted on my bank), and Mrs. Andersen had blue hydrangeas for me. All three are still growing in my yard. This year the hydrangeas were loaded with blossoms. Such sweet reminders of three special people. All three have since passed.

Honeysuckle Vine and Lenten Rose (Helleborus)

My Mom has given me primrose, cone flowers, horseradish, and other assorted plants. My Auntie gave me a Lenten rose and a honey suckle vine that the hummingbirds adore. Every bed has a flower, plant, or tree from someone near and dear to me. Tending the gardens is my way to care take the plants and the relationships. It is a chance for me to remember the stories of childhood, of being nurtured by family (both blood and chosen), and for me to add to the story. The plants hold these stories and many more – they hold the stories of the earth.

Primrose and Cone flower

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