Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My garden, my love.....

I suppose an unspoken requirement of living in the south is gardening.  The need, desire and ability to garden should be flowing through our veins...Lol.  For myself, it is indeed in my blood.  My love of gardening started as more of a love/hate relationship.  While both my parents worked out of the home, I being the oldest child, tended the family garden.  It was anywhere from a 1/2 acre to a full acre-bigger than most families yards!  From the age of nine, I tilled, hoed, chopped, pulled weeds, fertilized and picked produce.  At the time, I hated my time in the garden.  It was hard work!  Not to mention hot and dirty.  To make matters worse, my summer breaks and free time were often spent at my maternal grandparents whom has a decent sized garden as well.  My grandparents were already in their mid-seventies at that time, so I was expected to help them as well.  At times it seemed like torture.  Little did I know the knowledge and love for gardening that was being passed to me.  My papaw knew all the tricks.  He had the most amazing tomato plants--they were every bit of ten ft. tall!!!  His blackberry vines were loaded with berries and his okra plants towered over my head.

At the age of 17, I was blessed to meet my husband and GOD had a plan.  We were married a year later and were blessed to buy a home in the country with a little piece of land.  We moved in early in the Spring and I had an overwhelming desire to plant my own garden.  We had no equipment and no garden spot.  A sweet neighbor broke our ground and I made a trip to Wal-Mart for fertilize and seeds and the planting began.  As I dropped those seeds in the ground, I thought of my sweet papaw who had passed away years before.  I'm sure he was smiling down on me as I tried to remember all the things he had told me.  My mother-in law was also on my mind....she had passed away the previous year from breast cancer.  She courageously fought cancer for Five years and I helped her tend her garden when she was too weak due to treatments.  She had patiently taught me how to freeze and can her bounty and we spend many hours bent over her stove laughing and learning. 

My first garden was small and was a learning experience, but it was a labor of love.  Each year my garden grows a bit as does my love for the hobby.  Now, I have a sweet daughter who is inheriting my love as well.  I smile as I see her sweet footprints in the dirt I have enriched, I cringe as she vigorously chops weeds and takes out a good plant in the process and I laugh as I realize how full circle life really is.

Above are a few pics of my garden so far....can't wait to see it continue to grow:)  I will leave y'all with a quote that really sums gardening up for me.  There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.  ~Mirabel Osler

Be blessed, y'all!

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