my grandma died early monday morning, and after i got home from work that afternoon, i hauled out my planters. the weekend before, i’d gone to the amish greenhouse down the road and gotten some flowers to plant for curb appeal, and they had been sitting in their pots waiting for an opportune moment. what better opportunity than to celebrate the life of a woman who kept more flowers than i could even imagine.
my grandma’s house in st cloud had tulips lining the house, so every spring when the snow melted, the season was greeted with red and yellow tulips. her moss roses spread all over the yard, and her rhubarb was getting to the point of unwieldy. The front door’s walk was small, but my uncles had spent some time to dig it up and create more garden space for more flowers.
she was the plant whisperer. inside her house, there were african violets in pots all over the surfaces next to windows, and big planters with large ferns, lilies, and other greenery lined her living room. and in the pots were little ceramic animals or a small bird or last easter’s palms or maybe a bird’s nest with some eggs in it. a large philodendron sat on top of her hutch, with its green leaves hanging over the edges. she almost always had starter spider plants in glasses on the windowsill in her kitchen, waiting for homes. her thumb wasn’t just green – it was the vibrant green of springtime and tree buds.
i dragged out my planters, some of which i’d gotten from her, and filled a bucket with dirt from my vegetable beds to set my flowers in their home. my tulips i’d planted last fall were up and blooming, heralding springtime, and i had moss roses waiting to plant down by my mailbox. of the many traits that my grandma passed to her off-off-spring, including a baking itch and the ability to enjoy shopping, i think the need for dirt under the fingernails in the appropriate months is my favorite. seeing opportunity in a seed, hope in a bulb.