14 years ago, two little mounds of clover showed up on either side of our front porch. They had been planted by the original homeowner.
We bought the house at the beginning of February, so at that time, all the landscaping was dormant. The owner was Mr Ponder. A man we had never met, but who instantly felt like family.
He handed us an envelope containing photographs of what the house looked like in spring. Breathtaking. The yard was filled with so much color that the ghost of Monet had probably set up an easel at the end of the driveway.
I noticed there were pictures from at least two different years with signs in the yard proclaiming “Waxahachie Yard of the Month”. I remember thinking, “How cute”, but it wasn’t why I loved the house. This was going to be my first “real” house. Up until the age of 40, I had only lived in rentals.
I suppose I should have paid more attention as the neighbors came to greet us, and each one made comments about how beautiful the Ponders kept the yard.
These little green lucky charms signaled the beginning of spring. After that, roses and bushes and trees began to bud and bloom.
Anyone who knows me knows I do NOT have a green thumb.
I consulted a local landscaper who (casually) informed me that we had about $20,000 worth of landscaping.
I swallowed my tongue.
I called Mr Ponder and (trying not to cry) asked what to do to keep all of this alive. He gave me some simple instructions, and told me where to look to find all of the tags he had tucked away (from the purchase of EVERY plant, with the sunlight, water, and feeding instructions), so I followed his advice and did my best.
Of all the plants, flowers and trees, these clover mounds were my favorite. They required nothing. I never watered or fed them. Weeds and insects stayed away. And they would grow to about the size of basketballs, but never crept across the ground. They came back every year, and I loved them.
Five years later, life took a turn. Within a year, the yard died and the plants were left to fend for themselves.
I had to hire a company to mow the yard, trim the bushes and clean the beds.
I returned home one day to find both patches of clover missing. The men thought they were weeds and had pulled them up! I was devastated. I’m certain the business owner on the other end of that phone call thought I was a crazy person.
But a couple weeks later, I noticed some green popping up through the dirt. They were back!
After switching landscaping companies, it happened again. (Another unpleasant phone call) And again, they returned!
Then last fall, tragedy struck. One of the guys in the crew was certain they were weeds and, although I had told the owner AND put two tiny signs next to them, he pulled them, tilled the dirt, sprayed weed killer, and tilled that in as well. My Shamrocks were gone!
We had an early winter with two hard freezes. I looked for signs of life, but there was only dirt.
I mourned the loss.
Two weeks ago, as I went to check the mail, a bit of green caught my eye.
They were back! Not as deep green, and MUCH smaller patches… but… ALIVE!
I sit next to them at least once a day and chat with them. I’m not really sure what my emotional attachment is, but it runs deep.
I’m certain there is a metaphor or two to be found, but I’m too busy being happy for March, and spring, and clover.