In loving memory of Kathryn Parrish Shepard

29 04 2008

My dear friend Karen’s mother passed away March 26. With monetary contributions from her fellow Weedettes in the Runnymeade Garden Club and Supper Club friends (thanks, everyone!), I suggested that she and I start a memory garden to honor her mother. Her mother loved gardening, too. The highlight of the garden would be the heart-shaped stepping stone Sue and I purchased for her at McDonald’s Nursery in Virginia Beach a few weekends ago. It was such a perfect sentiment for this garden (even though whoever typeset it put an apostrophe in “its,” when it was possessive and not a contraction…and one sentence is missing a period (okay, so this is a peeve of mine, as you may have noticed). We bought it anyway because it was so fitting, despite these annoying (to me, at least) errors.

It reads, “My Mother kept a garden of the heart. She planted all the good things that gave my life its start. I am my Mother’s garden. I am her legacy. I hope she feels the love reflected back from me.”

Karen and I went shopping this past Sunday morning from 10:30-1:00, hitting Home Depot and Campbell & Ferrara Nursery ( for loads of plants. Karen kept worrying that I was overspending and I told her to just enjoy the ride. How often do you get to shop for plants and someone else pays for it? Relax, girl! I also told her that since her birthday is April 30 (tomorrow!), any “overage” would be my birthday gift to her!

Our primary focus was perennials, but we threw in some colorful annual flowers and herbs, too. Her garden already had good “bones,” with nice foundation plants, grasses, and a few bulb plants (tulips and irises), and mums. We added purple, yellow, and white coneflower; a shasta daisy, yellow yarrow, purple salvia, catmint, four sedums (upright and creeping), yellow tickseed, and loads of herbs (rosemary, variegated sage, chives, sweet and purple basil, lemon thyme, and a lavender plant. For instant color, we added white allysum, hot pink impatiens, deep purple wave petunias, and two lime green sweet potato vines. We planted two colorful coleus (one of her favorites) in the shade under a foundation plant. She also picked out two cucumber plants to grow in pots on the front step.

After lunch at Macaroni Grill, we headed home and from 3:00 to 8:00, we moved existing plants around, redesigned the garden, and put in all those plants. We didn’t even stop when it started sprinkling! (You can just imagine how lovely we looked, covered in mud and mist!). Husband Joe/Clifton came home just in time to be assigned the task of dragging a rather large bag of garden soil around. He also cleaned up the mess we made on the sidewalk (thanks, Joe/Cliff)!

The memory stone is nestled among Debbi’s Thomas Jefferson miniature irises, purple salvia, alyssum, tickseed, and yellow yarrow in a small bed just behind Karen and Joe (in the photo below). The inset photo is of the Garden Goddesses 😉

I’ll record the garden’s progress throughout the growing season, of course. Thank you to everyone for helping make Karen’s little memorial garden possible. We love you, Weedette Karen (and Joe/Cliff). And the happiest of birthdays tomorrow, red-headed woman!



One response

30 04 2008
sue cummings

Cindy, your gardening hands not only heal God’s earth but help heal human hearts as well. Beautiful. Sue

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