As we approach Mother’s Day, I wanted to pay tribute to my mother, Colleen Shurley.
There are many reasons I am very proud of her, but one reason in particular that has been passed on through our family’s generations is her love of gardening. I made the mistake of complimenting someone’s yard many years ago and was quickly corrected that it was not a yard, but a garden. That is what my mother has created, a garden, not just a yard.
Growing up in the south, her mother’s garden was filled with azaleas and all types of flower beds filled with old fashioned plants, flowers and vegetables ordered from seed catalogs. There were also plants passed on with love from different friends who separated their daylilies, iris’s, cuttings from this plant and that. I’m sure that love of gardening was passed on to my mother.
Her garden has hundreds of azaleas, so many that she is writing the Grumpy Gardener in Southern Living Magazine, “Help, I’m being invaded by azaleas; I never knew azaleas multiplied like this?” She not only has the beautiful southern favorite, but the old fashioned plants that I have come to love, grancy greybeard, lady banks rose, dwarf iris, forget me not, hydrangeas, gardenias, sweet shrub, tea olive, daisies, day lilies, yellow bells, wild geranium, petunias, pinks, azureum, violets, asters, burning bush, sedum, Queen Anne’s lace, cleome, coreopsis, butterfly bush, trillium, marigolds, grape hyacinth, buttercups, narcissus and daffodils.
Her garden carries the history of uprooted family plants that now thrive in the soil of Toccoa and as with her mother the gift from dear friends that have shared their cuttings and bulbs with her. All of these plant varieties will be enjoyed throughout the seasons of spring, summer and fall. And I suspect the gardening gene will somehow continue to stay in the family.