Ever since I can remember, my Mother has had a garden. At our old house it was small, and I was young. When we moved to our 'new' house there was more yard, and therefore more space for a larger garden. At first it was a small rectangle garden out in the yard with the two trees and the swing set. Small tree was cut down and the garden grew. Then there was the pool, then there wasn't the pool and the garden grew again. Larger and larger and more elaborate the garden grew. More plants, more types of plants, fruit trees, herbs, flowers etc. Sometime in the early 80's my Father bought a Canon AE-1 Program camera and a couple lenses. If I remember correctly a 70-210 zoom, and a 35-105mm macro lens.While the 70-210 allowed me to see things that were far away, I was always more interested in things that were close up. Things you normally couldn't see without a magnifying glass fascinated me. Having a garden full of flowers, trees, and bugs in my own backyard was great.After a while I ended up purchasing my own Canon AE1-P, Sigma 35-70mm f/2.8-4.0 and my own Vivitar 70-210. I took as many photos as I could afford to get developed. Spent a lot of time in the garden, camped out with a Bogen tripod I had picked up at a yard sale for $5, looking for my masterpiece photo. After a while, I ended up buying a second camera, a Canon A1, with a motordrive. I loved that camera, and took it everywhere, and this led to the downward spiral that some refer to as G.A.S. (Gear Aquisition Syndrome) From there I started collecting all kinds of cameras, old Kodak box cameras, lots of 120 & 620 film cameras, folding cameras, panoramic cameras, etc etc..
The favorites of mine were the three Graflex Crown Graphics I had. Two 4x5's and one 2-1/4 x 3-1/4. All three of them were in immaculate condition and I loved shooting with them. Focusing with the giant ground glass, the time it took to set up a shot, just the whole process, it was great fun. I shot them with 120 rollfilm backs as I didn't have a darkroom and no place locally would develop the sheet film. I had a lot of shots that turned out well. I've had a lot of fun in that garden. I still go there from time to time to hang out with Mom, talk about plants and bugs, take some photos, and have fun.
Then there's the fresh fruit and vegetables, that was picked sometimes minutes before it was on the plate. Being able to go out to the garden and pluck an orange, a plum, a tomato straight from the tree/plant. Awesome.
The garden has always been my Mother's hobby. Sure we've helped out here and there, but it was always her thing. I don't know if we've ever actually thanked her for all of the fresh fruit and vegetables, the nice quiet spot in the back yard where we could just go and get away from things and just think, but we should. It's always been my favorite place. I've hiked around and taken photos lots of places, but the garden is always the best. There's always something new to see.
When I visit my parents now, I always bring my camera. I get to take photos in the garden, I get to be outside, and I also get to hang out and spend time with my Mother, the keeper of the garden. We talk plants, bugs, and just about anything/everything else. These are some of the happiest times in my life.
If you ask me at any time, where's the place you wish you were, the answer will always be my Mother's garden.