Mother's Garden

Ma laughing and enjoying as she clears invasive grass off her Azaleas.

My wife and I visited my parents last month.  One of the happiest and restful activities was watching my mother at her garden during our five day visit.  I believe that her garden is one of the reasons why she opts to stay here in the province rather than in the States.

A retired private and public school teacher, here she has time to do what she has loved doing ever since I could remember.  I wrote about her influence in my own love for flowers in this previous post and about my love for painting in this other post.

Daubigny's Garden, July 1890, Auvers, Kunstmus...
Daubigny's Garden, July 1890, Auvers, Kunstmuseum Basel, one of Van Gogh's final works Pickvance (1986), 272–273 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
All these garden photos remind me  of Vincent Van Gogh's last letter to his own mother before he died.  In between fits of mental illness and on the same month that Vincent shot himself  he wrote his mother: "But for one's health, as you say, it is very necessary to work in the garden and to see the flowers growing."  

Vincent continued "I myself am quite absorbed in that immense plain with wheat fields up as far as the hills, boundless as the ocean, speckle of green flowering potato plants, everything under a sky of delicate tones of blue, white, pink and violet.  I am in a mood of almost too much calm, just the mood needed for painting this."

Nature connected Vincent and his mother.  I think it connects me to mine as well.  Perhaps one of my next paintings will be based on the photographs below of my mother and her garden and even the house whom she herself chose to be repainted in blazing orange.  She may not have realized it but that orange house will perfectly complement and enliven the greens all around.

Time for me to stretch and prime another canvas...

An invisible sign at her back reads "do not disturb"

A retired public and private school teacher who spent all her life teaching kids spends afternoons in her garden still teaching, but these days the subjects are not elementary Math, Science and English but Bible lessons and stories.  

Birds of Paradise, Desert Roses and other plants in the corner of her garden.

A joyful painting challenge -- her orange house and pink orchid surrounded by all shades and shapes of greens.

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