|Posted by Artist@donnagrossman.com on February 22, 2014 at 3:10 PM|
My mother was a gardener. She had a flower garden and loved to tend them.
When she died my dad put the house up for sale. He was reluctant to give me any plants for fear the new owners would notice. There was one I begged for, a flowering quince. He agreed to divide some of its roots and we set to digging. After thirty minutes and some mild expletives the shrub yielded up one shaft with several roots. I planted that stick in the ground.
It bloomed at Christmas.
The quince bush is now over twenty years old. It is a monstrous thing with thorns that my husband has done battle with throughout the years. It blooms in spring. It’s salmon petals are garish , almost vulgar in their color. They are deliriously, unabashedly alive.
Each February I find the pruners and walk out to the quince. I am weary of winter and impatient for spring. I harvest several branches. The blooms can be forced and in a week’s time the flower that opens is not salmon but the palest shell pink. It is the blush you see on a child’s face. It is a gift from the earth and my parents. It is spring in winter, it is hope.