Monday, May 9, 2011


Old Trunks is thinking about gardening today. Oh, no! Not for me or us rather about my grand parents. And for everyone out there in the cloud, I do admire you for your efforts and the nurturing you do to grow product for your own table. I don't have the gardening gene.

My grandparents always had a garden I never remember them not having one. The first one I remember was when they lived with us when mother was in the San with TB. The garden was right outside the back door along the fence between our property and Botham's crap apple orchard. It was sacred ground. NO ONE stepped on that area. NO ONE. The next summer it was moved to the back of the lot to host a larger garden and water was pumped from the river to water it. Previously it was close to the house and a hose was used.

What I remember most about that garden was that Grandpa grew watermelons. He saved the seeds. For some reason, he put the seeds in the oats box where Babe the Welsh pony took her grain. I could never understand how he could be so mad at Babe for eating something he placed there, but he was!

Now the garden was always masterfully groomed. It seemed to happen magically. I never saw them pull a hoe or pick a weed. Of course, it was tended daily and that is why it always looked like it was a model garden.

Although to a five year old, it seemed as if they stated they wanted a garden in a certain place and it happened. I didn't know about how they had to make the soil ready and all the raking and breaking up of clumps that had to happen. I did learn later that once all of that hard work was accomplished, Grandma would take two stakes and a string and mark off rows with space in between to walk and hoe. Between these stakes, she would form a mound and poke her finger in to make an indent in which to put the seed. Then, back breaking walk down the rows and drop one seed in each hole. Later she would retrace her steps and gently bury the seed. When she was completely finished, she would sit at the kitchen table and separate the seeds because as she planted, she just put them in the pocket of her apron. She did NOT put them back in the package, as the package was over the stake at the row's end so one would know what was planted there, although I suspect she had a system of how things were planted.

Perhaps her system had something to do with the way things matured OR how it looked. The corn, being the tallest crop was always along a fence line or on the out side edge of the garden. And because part of having company over on a Sunday afternoon for lunch meant looking at the garden, one had to have it as perfect as it could get.

Looking at the garden and the flowers was always a big thing. It generally happened after an afternoon lunch of cookies/cake and coffee. Once the garden was viewed, people generally left.

I wonder how many times a day the garden was visited. I heard a song when I was young called, "In the Garden". One of the lines was, "I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses". I was certain it was about Grandpa and Grandma. Alas, it was not.


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