Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Secret Garden

I have my father's copy of the book, The Secret Garden. I remember reading it as a child. And I remember as a teenager watching the movie (of the same name) -- the one with Margaret O'Brien as Mary, and Dean Stockwell, as Daniel. That particular version of the movie was one TV (TMC) tonight -- beginning at 10:45 p.m. Why do they put the good, old movies on so late at night?

I was determined to watch it, no matter that it was on so late, and I did. What I love about my father's book (now mine) is the pictures. The picture plates in the version I have are beautiful and just a few pictures added to the words of the book, make the story to clear in my mind. I imagine the garden, walled as it was, to look something like, well, my mother's beautiful garden. My mother's garden was always beautiful -- at least until she died and no one cared for it.

It was amazing to me, each year as I returned to the house, before daddy was removed for his health, how even though no one was caring for her garden, some things didn't die and kept putting forth fruit, so to speak. Her irises, while piled high with leaves from the previous winter, still put forth beautiful stems of color. The lilac bushes were still prolific producers. Her roses didn't die, but they didn't grow either. She had lavender by the back door, and it grew and grew and grew.
I wish I had my mother's ability to make plants grow and not die. I have to say my parsley is STILL hanging on since last spring (it's in a pot on the sun porch), as are the rosemary and thyme. My lavender is in horrible shape, and I hope that it perks up once we get warm weather again. The lavender is by the front door, where it got lots of ice and snow and rain. It probably drowned. We'll see, and I'll let you know.

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