The Shabby Garden

Mrs. White's front porch with wildflowers - part of our "Shabby Garden."

In England, the grounds of a property are called a "garden."  Here in the United States, we refer to it as a "yard."    However, when there is an acreage of some substance (from an acre upwards) it is charming to refer to one's property as an Estate, and to the grounds as one's garden.  This is what I like to call our home for my own amusement.

We have always taken great care in the upkeep of our land.  Mister and Great-grandfather (who lived with us for nine years here at the Estate) took excellent care by mowing, care taking, and landscaping.  There were small portions allotted to flowers, simple vegetable gardens, and our strawberry patch.

Since early this spring, things have drastically changed here.

This is the first summer without our beloved Great-grandfather (My father, who passed into heaven early this year).  I see the neglect on the grounds and desperately miss him.  I often think such things as, "Grandfather would never have allowed this screen door to be in such disrepair."  I also see his carefully built woodshed, which stored his winter fuel, and notice the land has just about overtaken its beauty with weeds and overgrowth.

My beautiful outdoor "pulley" system, which once held our wet laundry, has fallen and is in desperate need of a few minor repairs.  Paint is peeling all over the house.  So many things are in great need of care on both our house and our gardens.

Our grass has grown out of control all across our acreage.  Our sons do their best in their attempts at regular mowing but cannot possibly compare with the loving care of Great - grandfather's efforts.

I have only recently stopped crying when I see all the beautiful things Great - grandfather made on the property. They are precious reminders of him.  Instead, I say a prayer of thanks for him, and his presence, with peace and joy.  

In early spring, Mister took on the task of all the yard work and care taking, mostly alone.  He planted wildflowers for me, in remote and obvious locations throughout the property.  He did not have time to plant our vegetable gardens, this past May, because a devastating injury made him home bound and unable to work.  Thus, the state of things at our Estate.

This morning, I walked the property and noticed there is a Shabbiness to it that I have grown to love.  The wildflowers Mister planted for me are bright and blooming in delicate elegance.  They bring joy out of what would be sadness.  I smile when I see them.   There is beauty in some sort of simpleness when we are content and at peace with things we cannot change.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Wouldn't You like One of These?  - Home as a Little Christian School.

Enjoying the Baby - Afternoon Walk in the Parlour.

Remembering Great - Grandfather - Holiness from the Garage.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


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