Sunday, July 25, 2010

the old neighborhood

We spent the last week back in Downers Grove visiting my mom. Joining us were our oldest daughter, Kathryn, our son-in-law, Sean, and Aunt Kay and Uncle Bernie from Minnesota. My mom’s house hasn’t been that crowded since all my brothers and sisters were kids. The visit did us all a world of good. Katie got a crash course on our Minnesota heritage and Aunt Kay added a wonderful amount of detail to the story. I scanned pictures like crazy.
Pat and I walked around the neighborhood of my youth looking at gardens. Funny how I never spent a second thinking about gardens when I was growing up; lawns were for mowing. Now I take a pocket camera with me wherever we walk. Katie and Sean started the walk with us. I was telling stories about growing up and shoveling snow (me and every other kid in the neighborhood) in the pre snow blower age. About 2 blocks into the walk we came upon a gardened parkway and front lawn. I heard Pat tell Katie that we were going to be a while because “you know your father and gardens” and that she and Sean should keep going.
We were in luck. Greg Widmar, the homeowner was watering. We started talking and next thing we knew, we were on a tour. The front yard has only a postage size lawn. The rest is filled with hydrangeas, sedum, day lilies and a bunch of other stuff. The front yard yelled that serious gardeners lived here. Greg invited us to the back yard and all I could say was WOW. Vegetables were mixed in with the flowers, paths meandered around the yard. I had garden envy. The pictures tell a better story than I can.

Notice the water barrel in the corner of this house.

When I was younger, way younger, we used to play in the swamp that Barth pond started life out as. In the winter we ice skated there. Now Patriots Park is a wonderful nature area with walking paths and a ton of perennial flowers.


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a lovely personal garden, and the park is so peaceful and pretty. Glad you had a nice visit home.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Downers Grove, just a stone's throw from my garden. I love the diversity of Downers, small, large, vintage, brand new, brick streets, concrete, alphalt. I am glad you had a nostalgic trip back.

I just loved the garden, packed full of goodies.


Laura Bloomsbury said...

Loved travelling down memory lane with you and experiencing a touch of garden envy too


Meredith said...

How wonderful, Jim, to get to meet a serious gardener in your old stomping grounds - and one who clearly also appreciates a good hosta. ;)

I do hope you are doing well. Been thinking of you. Sounds like the visit home was worthwhile.

Noelle Johnson said...

Oh, I certainly would have stopped at such a beautiful garden :-)

I love how you shared your childhood memories with your daughter and son-in-law. I remember times with my dad when he would tell me about his childhood and those memories are more precious to me now that he is gone.