My home of more than twenty years, where my three children had been loved and raised, was about to be demolished. The developer kindly said that if there were any remaining plants I wished to take, to do so. I had already taken what I could when the house was sold but, of course, I had to leave the garden in the lovely state that we had enjoyed for so long. Any gardener knows that gardens take many years to make. One cannot just plant stuff and presto, there is a garden. No; gardens have energy. Like houses, they become part of the energy field of the family living with them and, in particular, the person who has cared for them the most.
That is why I love old houses. When I walk into new homes, I often feel a sterile energy field. However, an older loved home has a very different feel. It feels human. It has life. The normal ups and downs, joys and sorrows of life all mingle together to create an energy field that is in harmony with the nature of humans.
The garden was in a desolate state. Everything that was still alive was struggling. I walked around it slowly, not letting myself be horrified by the death or demise of all my hundreds of cherished friends. It is life, after all. Everything has a cycle. If some things don’t die, the new cannot grow. As I moved around the garden, I could almost hear the plants calling, “Pick me, pick me.”
I did my best and took what I could. I mostly picked the sentimental plants; the gardenia my niece gave me with as much love as a daughter, the rose my son and daughter bought me which was the first present they had ever shopped for themselves and spent their own money on, another rose which I bought the day my son went for his first job interview with a company he had dearly hoped to work for (the rose was called Celebration – and he got the job), and others.
After several hot hours, the second-chance plants were lined up and ready to go. They were taken to their new home and seemed to breathe out as they settled into a recovery time. Gardens are for healing. They are sacred and intimate. They are a private space. They embody peace.