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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails

When we bought this house, we also bought a myriad of unseen blooms which surprised us the following spring. The lady who lived here before us clearly adored things that flowered. Then she died, but they lived on. And every spring I am surprised again, happily so.

The dogwood tree in the front yard is frankly what swayed me to this house over another. I grew up with a dogwood tree in my front yard, and because I had The Best Childhood Ever, I think any house with a dogwood tree in the front yard is superior to a house without a dogwood tree in the front yard.

When we got engaged, I told my mother that beyond the wedding party, I only had five wishes, that the rest of the wedding planning was hers to do with what she wished. She was all excitement; "Carte blanche!" I'd hear her exclaim on the phone to one friend or another. One of the five wishes was that my bouquet be the flowers from my yard growing up. That one flustered her. "But, honey, they were just everyday things!" she sputtered. "But they were mine, and they were beautiful, and I loved them," I replied, and she smiled with teary eyes, and so my bridal bouquet was azaleas in the deepest pink tied with pachysandra.

The dogwood blossoms were impossible to hothouse, as was the honeysuckle. This can't be helped when you get married in Washington in January. Otherwise I had my childhood garden bouquet, my grandmother's handkerchief, the spice wedding cake made with love by a dear friend, and the other two wishes that seemed so important at the time but now are forgotten.

And now I have sons, which means there won't be any wedding bouquets based on this yard, on these inherited blooms. I'm hopeful though that these flowers will imprint themselves on my sons, that one day one of them will favor one house over another because of the dogwood tree in the front yard or the hot pink azaleas by the back door.
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