Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


I wish I had a picture of mom's lilac bush (tree) in full bloom.  I said that wrong.  She had two purple bushes the size of trees, and one white lilac which didn't grow as well as the purple ones and was only about six feet tall. 

Oh, how I miss the sweet, sweet smell of those bushes, and the cut flowers through our tiny home. 

Mom also had a huge lavender bush just by the back porch on the west side of the steps.  I had a really big bush.  It's gone now.  It didn't survive the winter and the landscape hackers where we live now.

All I remember of spring was mom's forsythia bush which was a yearly chore for her to cut back.  It grew like a weed.  Then there were the honey suckle bushes which were backed up against the chicken coops.  The chicken coops no longer exist, nor does the honeysuckle. 

Next we all looked forward to the lily-of-the-valley which mom had planted against the east wall of the house and it multiplied.  She was very careful when she worked with the lily-of-the-valley because it was the home of black widow spiders.  There is no longer a lily-of-the-valley along the east wall of the house, which makes me sad.

Then came the roses, and mom loved roses (her name was Rose) and she planted a new one every year.

Every spring she would look through the seed and plant catalogs and decide which rose she wanted.  I remember the Peace rose, the Sterling Silver Rose, the Crimson Glory rose, and yes her Mrs. Minaver rose (love that movie).  I remember the year she ordered the Sterling Silver rose.  It was a new rose and she wasn't sure about ordering it.  It was a toss-up between that rose and another climbing rose.  Sterling Silver won out.  And it was beautiful.  I remember when it bloomed and mom nurtured that one bloom until we all (the all-inclusive Italian family) saw it and agreed it was, in fact, the color of silver. 

Being the little one I was, I thought it looked like lavender.

Most of her roses are gone now.  Some are still there and give off their wonderful smell late in the spring and if fortunate, another blooming late in the summer.. 
Last, but not least, was mom's irises.  In May she went to a garden near Springfield, PA which has dozens of iris plants.  Even I enjoyed walking through that garden and looking at the plants.  I dug up a couple of her iris plants and planted them along my back fence at the home in which we live prior to moving to our final home.  They are still there, putting forth many  more blooms than I ever got from them.  Of course they are over 20 years old at this point.

Thanks mom for the memories!


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