Thursday, May 22, 2008

The start

Well here it is,my gardening blog. As a computer neophyte this is quite mind blowing. This wouldn't be possible without help from my very understanding wife, my sister[the computer whiz],my two nieces and my brother in law. I`m the computer dummy in the bunch but hey they don't garden. I'm not a writer or a poet but I do garden and I just plain love plants. This just seemed like the perfect extension to what must be the perfect hobby.

I garden because I have to. I don't really have a choice. For me it is one of those must have things in life for that life to be complete. I've never watched a sports game all the way through, never been to a concert in my life and only have three TV shows I really like to watch. But let me get in the garden and time just stands still. The only relevant time is dark. But even after dark you can watch the Daturis blooms open up or the Sphinx moths flitting around. Now that's just too cool.

My mother knew the value of the garden well. It kept five kids busy gardening as well as providing food for the table. Our gardens then were huge.The smaller crops were at our house and the row crops like corn and beans were at my grandmothers house in Govalle on Springdale road. The ground there was perfect sandy loam. My step dad would say the dirt was so good it smelled like you could eat it,and he was right. When he was roto tilling early in the morning and the steam was rising out of the ground it smelled like raw potatoes. We would all line up, seven across with hoes, taking out the weeds. The Mexican families that lived across the road would line up, leaning on the fence, watching the white folks work their butts off.They must have thought we were crazy and they probably also thought we didn't notice where they were picking vegetables at night when we weren't there. It didn't bother my mom or dad as they knew we would have more than we could use anyway. Mom would always say it would be nice if they would just ask. As kids we didn't think about it any as we knew we would get to walk the two blocks over to Bruce's Fried Pies and buy a couple dozen broken pies for a nickel a piece as a reward for helping out in the garden. It wasn't much fun working in the vegetable garden but it put food on the table. The fun was in the flower beds at the house.

Mother had flowers all around the house. She hardly ever bought any because they cost money. Instead most of her plants were pass-a-longs and gifts. Even when she got a plant she didn't particularly want she would plant it and take care of it just the same. She would hold up a plant and look at it and say "I think you want to live over here", and it usually did. I always loved it back then when she would ask my opinion on what to plant where. If I was wrong she would act like I might have forgot that this one might need a little more sun than that spot. That would give me a chance to change spots and still be right.

With these little stories I've tried to show why I must garden to be complete. It came from my mother and her nurturing of my interests, knowing it would serve me well as a lifelong hobby. A hobby that would keep me healthy physically and yet mentally serene. My wife, Lyn, says I am truly my real self when I`m in my garden. I think my mother knew the gift she was giving me and I don't think I ever really thanked her for it. In her later years when I would call just to check on her we would talk for hours about gardening. There is always a new plant to talk about you know. The "Garden Queen", as I liked to call her, passed on to the bigger gardens she knew she was supposed to tend a few years ago. One of the last things she said to me was to take care of her plants. I hauled seven truck loads of plants away. I gave plants to friends but most I gave to my favorite nurseries, to sell or keep, as they seen fit. I gave Trish, at my favorite nursery, Forever Gardens, mom`s gigantic Brugmansia. Now when I go in there I see it, with it`s "not for sale" sign on, and think of the Garden Queen.

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