Our oldest daughter, Heather, has this wonderful little garden that she has created, including a small water feature with a waterfall. Hubby and I built ours in the courtyard, but it didn’t look natural like Heather’s. It looked just like what it was: a plastic waterfall with random rocks stacked trying to make it look natural, so I wanted Heather to help me redo the waterfall.
|The water garden in the early spring. I liked it until I saw Heather's.|
Our project began with a trip to Home Depot Saturday morning to buy the supplies for drip irrigation and compost and top soil to rebuild our waterfall. Next we went to the La Porte Avenue Nursery (I wrote about the nursery last fall) where we purchased all of the plant material.
We were mixing compost and top soil in the wheel barrel for the base of the water fall when Heather said, “I’ve always wanted to come home and work with my parents in the garden—do a project with them.” It was at that moment that I realized that I was now the mom and Heather “the tid” was spending time with her mother just as I once did with my mother. I don't know why this epiphany came as such a surprise, for I am close with my daughters and while they both are a comfortable distance away, we do get do those mother/daughter things. I just suddenly got a whole perspective on the mother/daughter relationship.
|I watched her hands move the soil, press it into place, molding and shaping the new waterfall.|
When she was 4 years old, in a moment of post toddler bossiness she stood in front of me with her little hands her hips, looked up at me and in her bossy childhood way said to me “You’re the mom and I’m the tid.” She was scolding me about something, telling me that because I was the mom I was supposed to behave in some way. I am not sure I understood just what she meant at the moment and today 30 some years later I don’t remember.
|Strong hands that understand the earth, kneading it, moving it.|
|Knowledgeable hands that work smoothly and quickly.|
|Now the general shape is there.|
|And feet to stomp the pvc plastic liner into place.|
|Strong hands to place the rocks, adjusting the soil underneath the liner to create just the right niche for the rock.|
|She adds foam to hold some rock and pea gravel in place.|
|Good stuff to keep materials in place.|
|Finishing touches: moving the rocks around and adding pea gravel for a more realistic, natural waterfall.|
|Next: The plant material. Mostly miniatures of native plants.|
|I as so impressed with Heather's knowledge about plants as she walked with the nursery lady choosing the plants by scientific name, understanding what they were and where they would be planted on the mound.|
|She has learned to live with dirt under her fingernails and seems to prefer that to professionally manicured nails.|
|Final step: wetting everything down and giving the new plants a good drink.|
|At the end of the day we have a more natural looking waterfall now with miniature plants that will grow and fill in creating what I hope will be really beautiful next spring.|
|Heather and Jennifer|
Today those hands understand the elements of the earth and how to blend the soil and the plants and the rocks to create beauty in the garden.
As a grown woman, a horticulturalist by profession, and a gardener by passion, she teaches me. Now she and her sister are the ones who get to have lunch with their mom, do little projects, and have the heart to hearts. And I think now I have a better understand of what it means to be the mom and for the them to be"the tids." Thanks for all of your hard work, Heather. And thank you Jen for helping find and fix the leak.
You can visit Heather's blog Fields of Heather where you can see the beautiful little garden that she has created in the cul-de sac.