Friday, June 1, 2007

A Blooming Garden

Roses, lilies, daisies, oh my! Yes, gardening is another one of my non-genealogical hobbies. Well, not completely. After being around my family for only a short time, my husband understood exactly where my love of growing things, earth and the sun on my face came from. Mostly, my father's family. My grandparents had a farm, which wasn't unusual in Missouri in the first half of the twentieth century, but they also just had a love of the earth and being outside. My grandparents put in a vegetable garden every year, in addition to their many berries and the orchard that was well established. My grandmother canned, preserved, pickled and picked everything and I loved to help! (Actually, all of the cousins loved to help.) She had these two gigantic lilac bushes and ancient, antique old garden roses growing in the front right beneath the Martin house. It was only natural that the green thumb gene passed on to her kids. One of her daughters had an amazing rose garden, at one point she had almost fifty roses--almost all of them, hybrid teas. Which, I won't even mess with. I love roses, but not hybrid teas. When a back injury prevented her from working with the roses she began growing special orchids in doors, with special lamps and humidifiers! She was serious about her plants. Another aunt of mine still does the vegetables every year, has her berry bushes and peach trees, and she loves flowers of all kind.
So, of course, when that aunt offered me cuttings off of those old antique garden roses, I jumped on the chance to have a cutting. I took several, and three have taken root. They even bloomed this year, although very sparsely. But, I'm certain next year's show will be well worth the wait.
Right now, however, in a vase in my kitchen window, I have a bouquet of other roses that I grow. It's stuffed full of yellow Golden Celebration and pink Brother Cadfael roses. The whole kitchen smells good.
In addition to roses, I try to plant things that are native. Like, echinacea, daisies, astors and primrose. If I don't spend at least an hour outside every day, I feel restless. This year, I've got my tomatoes--I bought some heirloom tomatoes to see what tomatoes tasted like a hundred years ago--and I've got my blackberries and raspberries, but no veggies. Last year we did veggies and it was rewarding to watch the kids faces as a seed grows into a pumpkin. Some children think all of our food comes from the grocery store and don't really think about it beyond that. When I was a kid, a neighbor never knew that milk came from a cow, BEFORE it came from the grocery store, until she was about ten. It's kind of sad that things all kids used to take for granted, like milk from a cow, is something that has to be LEARNED now.
At any rate, my garden is blooming, and all is right with the world.

No comments: