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My sister’s garden

Realizing a life of connection to Mother Earth

By Carolyn Pogue

In my sister Marie’s garden, the birds and bees find sanctuary, beauty and sustenance. As do I. Here, it is harder to focus on dreadful wars, hungry kids and all the rest as you walk, listening to a mourning dove and watching a hummingbird hover with infinite grace and beauty over a scarlet bee balm flower. I needed those days of respite this summer.

My sister's garden is the realization of a dream — a life of connection to Mother Earth. I remember her at nine years old creating wildflower gardens of mosses and plants brought home from the forest, and selling her own vegetables near the highway at the age of 10.

Over the years, I saw that the more she delved into the spirituality of moon gardening; learned about crystals, grids, ley lines, chakra, energy healing and even orbs, the more her dream for this flower/vegetable/herb garden evolved. Three years ago, this garden at Flowers of Dellwood Creek finally opened to the public.

My sister started her garden with the centre, a hand-built gazebo, before moving out in a spiral that honours the four directions and is bordered with trees she and her partner, Jerry, planted thirty years ago. The garden has been partly created by gardeners from the four directions, too.


Photo by Carolyn Pogue
Photo by Carolyn Pogue
The so-called "Wwoofers" are members of the World Wide Organic Gardener and Farmer Organization. These men and women have come voluntarily from Korea, Japan, France, Britain and around Canada to stay, labour and taste life on the prairies. In addition to working in a beautiful garden, participating in paper-making, willow furniture-building, harvesting and cooking produce, Wwoofers, it seems, come to enjoy the prairie sky. After all, Saskatchewan has “Big Sky Country” printed on its license plates for good reason. In season, the skies fill with migrating birds. In every season, though, the skies draw your eyes heavenward.

My sister's garden is undisturbed by light pollution. When I visited last week, for example, we sat outside every evening around a fire, listening to coyotes sing, naming constellations and watching satellites overhead. One night, my sister called me out for the moonrise. She had set up lawn chairs at the end of her lane and set out a tray with a pot of homegrown tea — and a mosquito smudge. (Mosquito smudge note: tear a cardboard egg carton in half lengthwise and light the end. It will flare up before settling down to smolder. Place it on the ground and let the smoke keep the bugs at bay. Put it on a cookie sheet if the ground is dry.)

Six family members settled in to await the moonrise. It was spectacular. As she peeked over the horizon, we became silent for long moments. Then Hunja said that in Korea, people dance on full moon night. So we joined hands, and while she and her daughter Jung mi sang, we danced by the light of the moon. Later, I walked in the garden. By moonlight, it appeared that all of the white flowers were lit from within; it was a sacred moment.

Our mother was a gardener, too. One of her favourite poems was by Dorothy Frances Gurney:

Kiss of the sun for pardon.
Song of the birds for mirth.
You’re closer to God in a garden
Than any place else on Earth.


I quite agree.


Author's photo
Carolyn Pogue is a longtime Observer contributor. New posts of The Pogue Blog will appear on the first and third Thursday of the month. For more information on Carolyn Pogue, visit www.carolynpogue.ca..
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