Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My yard has more flowers through the spring and summer than it ever has thanks to the kind generosity of my parents. My father was/is a Master Gardener and he keeps a family history of sorts in blooms.

...like these large hostas from our "Grandpa Tom" and "Grandma Marvel"'s yard when they sold their home and downsized to senior apartments.

Or these loverly daylillies. I cannot be positive they are from my grandfather's yard - but he always had this color combination...plus, I have Stella D'oro's and Iris from my dad too and I am confident some of the iris came from Grandpa.

And of course the peonies rescued from my GREAT-grandmother's yard when they auctioned off her home and its contents. (those are done blooming now, but they are HUGE and heavy in the early days of summer...The striking flower above is off a plant that blooms LIKE CRAZY that my Boo Boo La La chose when we went to Malmborg's this spring...it loves sun and the blooms last and last!
And these daisies? They did not come from anyone else's yard, but my great-grandmother ALWAYS had them by her front door. Daisies are so cheerful, don't you think?

So - why do I garden...or try to garden?

I was raised in the gardens of my Grandfather's. They were very different men, with very different ways, but they both took me to the garden to "work".

Grandpa Bye always had me weeding and chasing the moths away from his cabbage. I got a nickle a piece for all the moths I would catch. I would even help him change out the beer in the pie tins he used to keep away other creepie crawlers.

The bounty that was his vegetable garden is legendary. Tomatoes and beets, peas- just for me! I always got the peas. Cabbage and carrots, corn and potatoes. And CUCUMBERS BY THE BARREL!!! We crunched them on the stoop with our little picnic size salt shakers and soaked them in vinegar and onions...so many cukes!!!

The whole family, my dad and his three sisters, got so much that the mother's canned for days every year to keep it all. He even gave away to the neighbors he got so much out of his little plot on the side yard!

My Grandpa Studer was another kind of gardener. Nothing in his garden was particularly practical, but we spent as much time caring for it. Each evening after dinner dead-heading the seemingly hundreds of daylilly plants. Weeding and pruning. Picking just the "right" rose for grandma to have in a little vase. He and Grandma even entered small bouquets in the Freeborn County Fair to show off his beautiful flowers.

All I need now to be more like him is some hydrangeas.

But, to aspire to my Grandpa Bye's garden...I need Boo Boo La La to be a little older so we can share that time too. We started this year with tomatoes - but they might not be so fruitful...it has been pretty cool - and herbs that failed miserably. However, I feel that I need to try to do both because the only Grandpa she has that gardens much is my Daddy - and unlike the original Grandpa Bye, this one sticks to flowers, shrubs, roses and trees.

I still have my jumbo patch of chives though! I'll get there.


Whiskeymarie said...

I'm kind of a half-assed gardener, but years of half-assedness seem to be paying off finally. Though I lost several perennials this year, for whatever reason, everything is finally matured and is looking fuller than ever.
I still have a ways to go- and us putting in a 6' privacy fence this fall will likely change things, but I do enjoy it and I love seeing the final results.

MommyLisa said...

So agree - it is all finally filling in around the house and looking (more or less) how I want it to look.

Your perennials were probably killed off by the super-terrific cold winter and the fact our spring was too cold too. My dad thought he almost lost a Hawthorn. It did not leaf out until MAY!

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