A visit was long overdue – I hadn’t seen my side of the family for awhile, so I headed South.  It’s a lot hotter in the summer down there than in the Northeast.  I really appreciate the cool nights in my mountain home, as well as the AC in the homes of my extended family!

My mother lives in a very cute condo.  She has peppermint and hosta growing right outside her front door.


She also has a flowerpot with a hot-pink geranium and some basil in it.


For breakfast, she goes out to pick the basil and then whips it up into an omelette.  (She has more geraniums on a patio outside the back door.)

My Mom taught me to appreciate plants.  She had a huge table filled with houseplants when I was growing up, right in a large living room window.  She loved African Violets(I love them too, but so far have not managed to keep them alive).   She used to have me water them from the base of the flowerpot instead of the top.  I do the same thing with my houseplants now.

We had a simple flower garden in the back yard.  Along one side of the fence was a large, yellow “Peace Rose.”  It smelled so good!  Sometimes, my Mom would cut some of the flowers and bring them inside to enjoy in a vase of water.   The fragrance would travel throughout 2 or 3 rooms of the house.

We also had a Dogwood tree in the front yard.  That tree was so pretty!  Eventually, it got some sort of a blight and we replaced it with a Crepe Myrtle.  My mother loved that Crepe Myrtle.  She sometimes drives by the old house and said that, sadly, the new owners chopped it down.  Their loss, then.

If we were driving through a less-than-beautiful neighborhood, my mother would somehow zero in on the one little glorious flower amidst the rubble.  She wouldn’t say anything about the dismal-looking environment-at-large.  Instead, she would say, “Oh, Wendy!  Just look at that pretty flower!”

One of my brothers planted some new little boxwoods beside his house.   Here they are, complete with rocks for his desired “Zen”-like effect:



The rock on the right almost looks like a turtle!  Here is a close-up:


On a visit to one of my other brothers, I spied some herbs growing in the front of their house.  Among them were these two GIGANTIC ROSEMARY PLANTS, er, BUSHES!  My sister-in-law explained that a large rosemary plant symbolized a strong Matriarchal presence in the home, and that her own mother(in Ireland) had one the size of a tree!

Emer's RosemaryCIMG2455

My own rosemary gets no taller than a couple of feet, and behaves more like an annual than a perennial.  I’ve tried bringing it in the house for the winter, covering it up outside, but it dies anyway.  I’ve seen it called a “tender” perennial, so it is probably no match for the winters of the Northeast.  What I finally decided to do was to cut it at the end of summer, dry it, and use the dried rosemary until the following year when I can plant some more.   So much for the Matriarch idea in my house!  Although, the saying, “If Momma ain’t happy, then ain’t nobody happy!”  I think there is some truth to that whether rosemary is involved or not!  😉

Enjoy the day – rain or shine!