The Transformation Of An Enduring Memory

I was asked by a dear friend, to style a precious family heirloom. Below, our guest blogger Mary Ann, shares that story. Mary Ann is a Habitat Steward for the Delaware Nature Society, and she is the proud owner of Nando’s Garden, a two acre woodland garden and registered Delaware wetland.  Further, Nando’s Garden is a World Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat and registered Monarch Way Station.   Nando’s garden is named after her father, Ferdinando.

The Transformation Of An Enduring Memory by Mary Ann

The surrounding photos are of a beautiful container  arrangement of succulents (echeveria) created  by Angela in a wooden salad bowl, handmade by my father, and given to my husband and me as a wedding gift over 20 years ago.   My Dad carefully selected different types of woods for their striking contrasts, and lovingly carved the bowl for us in his workshop.  Despite caring for the bowl, twenty years of steady use has resulted in cracks that made the bowl unsuitable for food.  Unwilling to merely throw the bowl away, my husband suggested a Viking funeral in our backyard stream, but I objected to floating a fire bowl through our neighbors’ yards.  Sadly returning his lighter fluid to the garage, he admitted to being only half-serious about the Viking approach and suggested (seriously, this time) that we keep the bowl as a planter and a reminder that my Dad’s love endures, even though he died several years ago.  As to what kind of planter, his response was, “Anything you say, Dear”; his usual response to garden questions. 

I had no idea what kind of plants or arrangement would be appropriate for a beautiful handcrafted salad bowl, especially given that we wanted the bowl to last for many more years.  Aside from the physical concerns of wood, roots, and light, the plants had to represent the loving care my Dad put into this gift.  Yet, Angela selected the right plants, carefully created the right environment for them, and added just a small token of my Dad’s love of winged creatures.  She captured it all: the spoken and unspoken, and turned a slightly tired, but still beautiful work of art into an heirloom.  My Dad would be so pleased!


One Comment to “The Transformation Of An Enduring Memory”

  1. I love this story, and the Viking suggestion made me laugh out loud! A wonderful (and utilitarian) remembrance. Well done!

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