Monday, May 22, 2006


My grandma was a gardener. The few feet of earth surrounding her small mobile home was packed with morning glories, 4 o' clocks, roses, apple and plum trees, and her pride and joy: the snowball bush. I loved the plump, round bouquets of flowers that covered the bush, but even more than that I loved tending them with her. On spring and summer evenings we would go outside with a bucket of water, pruning shears, and a small shovel, and set to work. This was her way of carving a little beauty out of her smoggy, Southern California life.

This spring has brought many memories of my grandma with the appearance of the snowball bushes in bloom around town. Her death six months ago at the age of 100, was not unexpected but that doesn't take away from the fact that she is now absent from my life. I miss her.

Yesterday my husband bought me a wonderful surprise: my very own snowball bush. We planted it in the backyard, with Aubry's help, and I think it looks perfect nestled against the backyard fence. The snowball bush will serve as a reminder of my grandma, and also of the value of hidden beauty and the importance of teaching small hands to tend to it and make it grow.