Who knew they could break your heart?


We had a really wet, cool fall last year with a really wet, cool spring this year…. and it was rough on the landscaping. The blueberry bushes look punky, the rhododendrons are spindly and we had 2 deaths.

While garden deaths usually don’t make me cry, these did.

For those of you who don’t know, my mother died July of 2014 from Non Hodgkins Lymphoma, and it was rough. I’m an only child and lost my dad when I was 15. I never knew my grandparents.

She was my family. Pretty much all of it.

Mom hated the fuss of funerals and wanted to be cremated. Said it was up to me to decide what to do with her ashes. Since she loved spending time at our home and enjoyed our gardens, I planted a tulip tree with part of her nourishing the soil.


tree 5


The tree had been growing well since then, but didn’t survive the winter and spring. We had to remove it…. and I cried.


Silly, I know. And yes, I can always plant another one, but somehow it just feels…. wrong.

Then there was the beautiful red rose our neighbor gave me to mark her passing.


Copy (1) of 005


It was stunning, and always filled with riotous blooms.

I would walk by, think of my mother and smile.

I mean damn…





The crazy thing would even bloom in the snow.

I figured nothing would kill it… and then we had a really cool, wet fall and a really cool, wet spring.





The beauty that I’d been enjoying for years…. gone. Just like my mom.

And I cried.. again. I couldn’t help it.

But I decided to replace the rose.




With this flashy lady.




The blooms looked almost painted….




Which made sense when I removed the tag.




I’ve always loved impressionist paintings, so that felt right.




Fingers are crossed this one does well.

I think my mother would have approved.


37 thoughts on “Who knew they could break your heart?”

  1. There’s nothing wrong with remembering your mom and feeling her loss. Maybe that’s why you were so upset: Because the loss of those plants reminded you of your loss of your mother…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh River, I’m sorry about your mom and the tree and roses that reminded you of her. We do feel like we’ve failed at times, especially when we care for things that remind us of someone we love so much. But with your green thumb, that beautiful garden of yours will bloom before you know it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ☹ Ahhhhh, and this post made me cry….Well, tear up a little. I’m right there with you in the heartbreak of losing the roses and the tulip tree, especially the tulip tree, since Mom’s ashes provided part of the soil. 🙁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I get that. It was like the death of his dream and I cried when each of Nick’s cars left even knowing I’d finally get to see them on the roads being enjoyed.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Technically no. She was part of the tree that died and I still can’t make myself replace that yet.
        The rose was just a memorial gift our neighbors gave me to mark her passing. But it was a lovely gesture and I feel horrible it died.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The tree was planted 2014, it died and we pulled it up this spring. Technically she’s still in the soil…. but the rose was in a different spot.


  5. River,
    My heart goes out to you! Grief is like that and you did not fail, though I understand why you feel that way! This was out of your control. I know you’re mom is so proud of you and I think she’ll love the new flowers! A great big hug to you, my friend! Mona

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Plants, like people, are fickle. I don’t believe that you failed, I’d say you learned a few lessons– and wouldn’t your mother be proud of you for doing so? A few tear along the way make it all the more memorable.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s a nice sentiment. I’m a bit like that, have things to remember people. I’m quite sentimental as well as mental just don’t tell anyone. We’re currently doing garden things at the moment – so,as you know my situation, it has an extra edge to it, as I know it’s very likely I’ll be looking at the flowers,honeysuckle,firethorn etc alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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