I have had a passion for gardens all my life. I think it may be because it gives me a feeling of life, and living. Plus gardens remind me so much of my mother – Maman Shari. She always had a rose garden.
I remember she had this climbing rose that had grown all over the red brick wall in our garden in Tehran. The flowers were a pale yellow and had a stripe of pink at the end of each petal. The bush had grown to the other side of the wall, hanging by the sidewalk.
When school kids would pass by, they always picked Maman Shari's flowers. But she never got upset, instead she would say, “Oh well, I enjoy this side of the wall; let them enjoy the other side.”
Bless her heart. She had a lot of stamina, and patience. She would plant annuals for every season. She used to plant pansies (banafsheh) in the spring. When they died she would replace them with little pink mums (goleh mina).
Our yard was always filled with beautiful flowers. Oh…! and of course Maman Shari had all these large red clay pots that she had set on every step connecting the yard to the balcony (eyvoon) filled with Jasmine (goleh yas). They were so fragrant.
My sisters and I would always sit on the steps and try to make necklaces with the flowers. I loved it when Maman Shari would water the flowers in the early evenings, and then she would splash water on the red brick walls to cool off the yard. The moisture rising from the bricks, which were still warm from the afternoon sun, had this heavenly scent.
Do you recall that scent? It brings tears of joy into my eyes when I think of those innocent moments… sticking my nose on the moistened bricks and taking a deep breath…
I guess my love for gardening started way back then.