I know I haven't been around much but a series of events have lead me to neglect my gardening blog. First I'd like to thank everyone who has commented since I last made an update. I'd also like to sincerely thank everyone who has expressed concern over my well-being and has made an attempt to contact me through e-mail. I'll try to respond to each e-mail personally but if I don't get around to it I just want you to know that I've seen the e-mail and appreciate sentiment behind it and I'm doing good.
I'm not dead just dormant.
For a while I wasn't able to access my blog and e-mail account because I couldn't remember the password and then my computer just kind stopped working. Without being able to take pictures, edit them and upload 'em to this gardening blog my heart wasn't in it. Then I had a puppy for a while and dealing with the puppy became too much...
The "C" word that isn't composting.
The biggest reason that I've been away is because my mother has been battling a brain tumor for the past 13 months. About 9 months ago my mother had surgery to remove a tumor from the left side of her brain. I haven't really talked about it much with people in real life and made no mention of it on this blog mostly because after the surgery things looked great for her.
After the tumor was removed she recovered quickly and was up and it looked like she had beaten it and life was going to return to normal for everyone. Then things sorta got bad in January- worse than they had been before or after the surgery. Over the past few months she started to slur her words, forget names and lose mobility on the right side of her body. It was a clear sign that the tumor had returned and the radiation treatment hadn't had the desired effect.
Last year when the tulips bloomed I cut a few and put them in a vase for her and when I presented them to her she admitted to standing out in the garden earlier and wanting to take some but thinking twice of it because I would be upset. This April I cut lots of them, still feeling a bit of guilt over keeping the blooms mostly for myself last year, and brought them in. There was a clump of pink tulips that I begged to fight the warm temperatures (so I could cut them for Mother's Day) that thankfully seemed to understand their purpose. They were beautiful, large and looked better than all the store bought flowers I saw that day, if I do say so myself.
She's now entering her second week of chemotherapy and surprising me with the inner strength and dignity she's exhibited throughout this whole battle. She can't say much but sometimes a smile comes over her or she raises her eyebrows at the sight of a flower I show her. I feel a lot of guilt over neglecting my indoor plants while helping with my mother- not for the plants because they can be replace- but because she always appreciates a nice plant or bloom no matter how strange my plant is.
I was born in California but raised in Chicago from an early age and still have a lot of family there. Some family members have made the trek to Chicago to take advantage of our warming temperatures and spend time here since it isn't blistering cold. Unfortunately they've brought their California gardening practices with them and their opinions. I've already got a "gardening coach" of my own, thank you very much! Plant after plant has fallen victim to my over-watering grandmother. You'd think someone who supposedly has such bad arthritis that she can't cook or scrub a pan would have trouble pouring glasses of water daily on my cacti & succulents but nooooooooo.
I have an uncle who took it upon himself to help me in the garden by dividing my black iris clump-at the end of February. Fortunately the rhizomes have survived and oddly enough seem to be thriving and each one is sending up a flower stalk. The dividing of plants and the weeding has done minimal damage but caused me a few near heart attacks when I saw him out in the garden with a shovel. It's funny how dandelions seem to escape his grasp when he's weeding but perennials and seedlings that I'm purposefully growing seem to get the brunt of the garden trowel.
Now that I've made the connection between the therapeutic quality of plants and flowers and my mother's daily battle I'm bound to be more interested in actually gardening and taking photos out in the garden again. I'll try to update more often- I've even got a few new pictures I'd like to share so I should be around more.
Enough about me.
Feel free to let me know what's going on in your world if you come across this and share what's new in your garden or gardening blog. I haven't keep up with the garden blog world the past four months and I feel like a kid in a new school. Links are welcomed.
Again, thanks for the e-mails and I'm sorry I couldn't respond sooner.