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[personal profile] dee_burris
As I write this, I am sitting in one of my favorite places - my east porch, which looks out on gardens I built.

I have lived in this spot for twenty years. As I age, I am very glad I built the bones of these gardens as a younger woman.

And as I admire the results of my efforts two decades ago, I feel very close to both of my grandmothers. They also built gardens, and spent considerable time in their gardens.

Addie Louise Herrington had an herbaceous perennial border six feet deep around the perimeter of her home on Crittenden Street in Arkadelphia. I remember especially her camellia, and all of those blue hydrangeas.

Grandma Burris didn't have a porch, apart from the screened entryway to the kitchen. But she and Granddaddy Burris did put lawn chairs in the shaded part of the backyard.

 photo AddieLouiseHerringtonBurris1928.jpg
Louise Herrington Burris, 1908-1980


Doris Geneva Balding had a fully landscaped garden - of her design and built with a lot of her sweat. She hired out the large jobs - like the brick wall she paid my dad to build around her back garden.

Grandma Dee had a terrace, and almost always had a comfortable cushion laid out on her favorite terrace chair. She and Papaw Joe used the terrace as an extension of their home, an outdoor room.

 photo 020.jpg
Doris Balding Williams, 1907-1998

I totally "get it."

I know why my grandmothers spent so much time and put so much effort in their gardens.

There are times when you have to earth yourself. Times when yanking out weeds, and feeling crumbly earth slipping through your fingers allows you to leave behind what seemed just a few moments ago to be so important.

Times when you lose track of time as you let your garden consume all your senses. When the garden tells you that we are all connected.

And it teaches you that no matter what your spiritual paradigm, we humans are totally unnecessary to the changing of the cycles of nature. We're just gravy on the finished product, and will leave this earthly experience behind one day.

And the cycles will go on. So we don't need to go messing up this wondrous creation with toxins and a laissez faire attitude that we can just use, and use, and use without ever giving back.
These days, I am trying to just maintain the gardens. There's enough work in that for me.

My building projects have now turned to gardening in miniature.
 photo 06 04 2015 gnome garden3.jpg
gnome garden, May 2015


My anchor plant in the gnome garden is a dwarf twisted Hinoki cypress.
 photo 06 11 2015 dwarf hinoki cypress.jpg
Dwarf Twisted Hinoki Cypress 'Tsatsumi'


This little tree is a slow grower. Eventually it will outgrow the space, getting a couple of feet tall and about as wide. I haven't researched how it would respond to root pruning to keep it smaller. I'm really looking forward to seeing curling bark.

As time goes by, I can enjoy the planning of its replacement, and relocate this little cypress to its own pot.
The journey is good. I can make it even better by taking time to appreciate my garden.

I love and miss you both.

I'll see you on the other side.

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Dee Burris Blakley

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