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In 2009, my nephew Ethan helped me plant a Mexican orange. It was small and now it’s tripled in size and as you can see is blooming like crazy, the blossoms gently fragrant. There’s heather (which bloomed in the winter) in front and rock rose (which start to bloom in the next month) to one side. I doubt Ethan remembers this event or the visit to our house, because he was just four years old at the time, but I suspect that his grandma Irene remembers. She watched us dig the hole in the rocky soil, knock the plant out of its container, put it in the ground and gently fill in around the roots.

We did it on a lovely Mother’s Day weekend with family from Canada to California gathered. Now I rarely look at this part of the garden without thinking fondly of my nephew and that visit.

On Mother’s Day, I want to thank my mother for helping to orchestrate this memory. She is a woman with good instincts who understands the human need for connection.