It is the small simple things of life that bring us peace.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


In late August Jaydon and I started in the Children's Garden program at the Botanical Garden.  It is a Saturday morning commitment that runs until early December.  He has a little garden plot and, under the direction of Master Gardeners, is learning about gardening.  The first few weeks were brutally hot;  two weeks ago we had a major set back. All in all, it has been a worthwhile experience.  I'll be posting more on the details of the garden in future posts.

Broccoli and Mari-mums (there's cauliflower hiding between them)
I love gardening; it is in my genes.  My grandmother had a large garden and lots of flowers in her yard.  No matter where we lived we always spent several weeks in Mississippi with family every summer.  During the years we lived in Louisiana I stayed with my grandparents, by myself.  Working in the garden was always part of a visit. I spent many pleasant summer mornings cutting flowers and arranging them.  I also spent many sweaty hours helping her in the vegetable garden.  I never minded the work; even as a child, I loved it.  I didn't mind pulling weeds or using the little short hoe to re-distribute the dirt around the plants.  I learned  to pick the vegetables and loved to see the old baskets full of beans, peas, corn, cucumbers, squash, and other vegetables. When she had to water I liked to watch the water run down the rows and fill up the furrows.  I spent many summer afternoons in a cool shady spot shelling peas or snapping beans, depending on what I had picked that morning.  My grandmother and I would chat quietly during those afternoons while our hands were busy.  I felt very loved and there was harmony in my small world when I was with her.
My grandmother would cook whatever we needed for the day and blanch and freeze the remainder.  They had a large deep-freeze that she filled up each season for future consumption.  Several years after her death the freezer was still running and still full of the last vegetables she had harvested; no one had thought about it until the house was being emptied!
Jaydon's plot is in the middle - his mom is at the end cutting Mari-mums
The only thing I did not like about the garden was having to eat the vegetables.  I loved the little cherry tomatoes and would eat them right off the vine when I could get away with it; there is nothing like a warm, just picked cherry tomato!  I also liked the banana peppers, but everything else was just unbearable to me.  What I would give now for some of those vegetables that I scorned!
The garden was a part of my life; I really didn't think it was anything exceptional.  It was just the way it was.  But that garden created memories for me and it gave me basic gardening skills.  I learned to identify the different plants and a little about good practices in the garden.  I learned to love the smell of the dirt (that beautiful red dirt!) and the smell of tomato plants when I touched them.  I learned to love the earth and all living, growing things.  A garden grows not only food or flowers, it gives lessons in loving life.

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