Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Secret Garden

My mom went home from the hospital yesterday and she's feeling well enough to eat normal food and walk up the stairs already! Recovering from abdominal surgery is difficult and painful. Hopefully she won't have to go through this again! Nine days in the hospital is too much.

The reason I was in Omaha last Sunday when my dad took her to the ER was because the Omaha Botanical Gardens had a spring show commemorating the 100th anniversary of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden. I met my parents there for the afternoon English tea and we were all watching the movie version when my mom started feeling sick that evening.

I took a few pictures at the exhibit, although they don't do it justice. All captions are quotes from the book. It was one of my favorite books when I was younger.

*"Do bulbs live a long time? Would they live years and years if no one helped them?" inquired Mary anxiously.

"They're things as helps themselves," said Martha. "That's why poor folk can afford to have 'em. If you don't trouble 'em, most of 'em'll work away underground for a lifetime an' spread out an' have little 'uns. There's a place in th' park woods here where there's snowdrops by thousands. They're the prettiest sight in Yorkshire when th' spring comes. No one knows when they was first planted."*

*"Are there any flowers that look like bells?" she inquired.

"Lilies o' th' valley does," he answered, digging away with the trowel, "an' there's Canterbury bells, an' campanulas... Why does tha' want 'em?"

Then Mary told him about Basil and his brothers and sisters in India and of how she had hated them and of their calling her "Mistress Mary Quite Contrary."

"They used to dance round and sing at me. They sang--

`Mistress Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow? With silver bells, and cockle shells, And marigolds all in a row.'

I just remembered it and it made me wonder if there were really flowers like silver bells."

She frowned a little and gave her trowel a rather spiteful dig into the earth.

"I wasn't as contrary as they were."

But Dickon laughed. "Eh!" he said, and as he crumbled the rich black soil she saw he was sniffing up the scent of it. "There doesn't seem to be no need for no one to be contrary when there's flowers an' such like, an' such lots o' friendly wild things runnin' about makin' homes for themselves, or buildin' nests an' singin' an' whistlin', does there?"*

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