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Gardening in America
A Secret Garden
by Nancy Fletcher

This year, 2003 must be the year for secret gardens. Many of the magazines are showing gates and entry ways into gardens. Sometimes we are like children. It seems there has to be a continual act of repetitive mention before we get the point. This is the way it has been too. Finally, slow cogs were moving in my brain. It came to mind this is a great idea!

"Patricia!" "Look!" Gramma was anxious to share some of the pictures from the magazine with her granddaughter. "What do you think about a secret garden?"

Immediately Patricia was caught up with the idea. "Gramma!" "Oh, wouldn't that be just so exciting." "A secret garden!" "Oh yes, yes, let's do have a secret garden."

There were pictures of garden gates with a curved top. There were some that were deep and wide, and some with simple wire designs. All gates were of different prices too. Some were expensive. Some were low in price but with a flimsy appearance. There were those looking to be almost a work of art in themselves.

Of course, they had to look at catalogues for the kind of roses they wanted. Finally a variety called Ice Burg White Climbing Roses were considered because, "they bloom around Memorial Day and would be nice since Grandsir's favorite rose was the white rose."

"Our secret garden will have the tall cedars, and the quiet place under them will be lovely too."

"What can we put there?" Patricia was now getting into the planning.

"Well, we will have to consider maybe a table and chairs, or maybe a bench, or possibly a bird bath, and maybe we can get your Grandfather to build us a small fountain like we have in front." "There just are so many things to think about and to plan around." "I think we should get you a notebook so you can be browsing through magazines for ideas." "You can cut them out and paste them on the pages and we will think about any and all of them."

Days of fluctuating Oklahoma weather with one day extremely warm in the seventies only to have the next day drop into the teens could be so distressing as the grandmother remembered her own childhood. Her own mother let them play out in the sun on the warm days and when the next day was sunny also it was their wish to go outside again. The shock of having the cold temperature kept them huddling to the south side of a building where it was a little warmer, but not for long. Maybe folks didn't think about children becoming depressed with weather conditions but the Gramma remembered her own childhood so well and this was one thing she had a recollection as to being so frustrating.

"Is spring ever coming?" Little Patricia asked her Grandmother.

"It isn't time for it yet, my dear." "Just enjoy the warm days when we can get outdoors and enjoy the warmth of the house when it is so cold."

And so went the days in the later parts of January 2003. They were broken up by the Grandmother enjoying the quick mind of the little girl cutting out and making plans for "The Secret Garden."

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