06.21.15

MY FATHER'S GARDEN

My first memories of plant life begin while tending to my father's garden. To me his garden was a luscious Jungle-- a name we still call his botanical escape. When my brother and I were curious kids we would head out to our California backyard and watch our father fill the moats surrounding his plants with water and love for hours. I still remember thinking to myself HOW CAN HE STAY OUT HERE THIS LONG? Years later I understand his love for plant life as is it is now my own.

Young apprentices: My brother and I watering our backyard

Young apprentices: My brother and I watering our backyard

My father was given the name "Tree Surgeon" many years ago for his meticulous grafting skills- his steady hand cuts tissues from one plant and inserts their branches as a part of another plant. Through this process he has created incredible specimens of multiple function, beauty, and curiosity.

A raspberry plant grafted to offer 3 different types of berries on its branches

A grafting incision on one of his branches

A grafting incision on one of his branches

Growing up I rejected my father's wild approach to landscape design.

My father has 6 chickens: Whitney, Gloria, Jessica, Adele and Gaga (who turned out to be a rooster)

But as I got older I noticed the nuances, order, and the artisan quality of his craft.

His garden is endless--literally every corner of my childhood remembrance overflows with plant life.

Honeysuckle and chickens

Honeysuckle and chickens

Bees kept in the Jungle

Bees kept in the Jungle

A powerful Modesto Oak tree imported to my father's yard

A powerful Modesto Oak tree imported to my father's yard

When I asked my father how his crops grow so big, so lush, and so plentiful he told his secret:  singing to the plants in Arabic, the songs of his country's vocal ambassador: Fairuz.

Our personalities are manifested memories.

One of my father's many rose bushes

One of my father's many rose bushes

When I was a little girl, my father would hybridize roses to make his own custom flowers that spoke to the personalities of each of his love ones. My mother's flower was a version of the Queen Elizabeth Rose he custom created; a soft pink color with perfect pedals. Elegant. Feminine.

Whenever I look at a Queen Elizabeth Rose I remember her special flower that was planted at the entry way of my front yard, welcoming guests to our home. I see my mother through my father's eyes. 

My mother's hybrid rose: Monica

My mother's hybrid rose: Monica

For me he created a custom Fire and Ice Tea Rose. My Fire and Ice Tea Rose is smaller in size to its classic rose bush counterpart, but gives a contrasting color performance to my father's garden. Like an opera, its pedals unfold white, change to yellow and orange, and end with a grand finale of gorgeous red. My rose creates an elaborate color story every time they bloom. 

My Fire and Ice Tea Rose: Imane

My Fire and Ice Tea Rose: Imane

Perhaps he knew my spirit before I did.

My father has taught me endless valuable lessons about nurturing nature and enjoying the botanical beauty all around

Hybrid Striped Rose from my father's rose bushes

Hybrid Striped Rose from my father's rose bushes

But my favorite thing about him is he will always stop to smell them. #itsplantporn

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The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature. -Antoine-François, Abbé Prévost d’Exiles

Happy Father's Day!