26 June 2009

Gardens and the local flower show

This first photo is one I just could not pass up. Can you see why? I went in to town after weeks ago, and their were elephants in front of the bank! Greenwood was having a flower show. I knew their would be one, but I had no idea what it would include. All of the Topiary were created locally and sponsored by local businesses. The camera, of course was sponsored by our local Fuji plant. (Oh so glad they are still here!) It was created by the Burton Center and Fuji associates. The Mama elephant was created by Master Gardeners and Community. Baby was created by Oakland Elementary School and the blanket was created by ACTS Middle school.
The Jeep, another favorite of mine, was created by Master Gardeners and the Flamingo by Laurel Garden Club. There were eleven topiary in all, these were the ones I liked the best. I am not sure how

long they will be around, if you get a chance pop in downtown Greenwood and have a look. While I was taking my photos, I discovered a Bead and Scrapbooking shop! It is called "Two Old Bags and Beads" I will definitely be going back in there.
What is the first thing you can remember about gardens? I have been trying to figure out what my earliest memory is of gardening, I think it would have to be snap dragons. When I was tiny, I remember my Mom telling me their name and I could immediately see why they were called that. I was delighted! In my imagination, they became the heads of magical steeds for the flower fairies. She introduced me to bleeding hearts around the same time. Wow, for some reason the idea that flowers could look enough like something else to be named for it, well that opened up lots of imaginary
possibilities. I don't remember my Mom spending a lot of time gardening, (when would she have the time?) I do remember her enjoying them. She always had something growing.

When I was small, we had a flower garden right in front of the house. Mom had roses and tiger lilies amongst other things. I remember my sister's tiger cat Sherri curled up on the porch railing above the lilies. I thought it was funny that the "tiger" should sleep next to the Tiger lilies. Someday I should do a post about Sherri, he (yes he, long story) was a remarkable cat. He even let us dress him up in doll clothes. My Mom did not believe in boredom. She told me that only people lacking in imagination could ever be bored. Her solution to boredom? Get some work done, that frequently meant pulling weeds. We learned quick how to find ways to avoid boredom on
our own. I don't mind pulling weeds. It is a bit like baking bread. If you just go out and get into it, let your mind do what it wants, you can't stay in a bad mood. My sweet Hubby will attest however that I don't do much weeding. I am a very lazy Gardner, I do what I want, when I want to. My Honey gets stuck doing the rest (more on that later).
My big brother Pete had a small vegetable patch out back when we lived in the center of town. He must have really worked that soil to get anything out of it. His cherry tomatoes still make my mouth water just thinking about it. He grew little green peppers and introduced me to Pear tomatoes (oh my goodness those are good) and lemon cucumbers. The joy of growing your own food. Even back Mom did some canning. We would drive out to Willard Utah and buy fresh produce from the farmers stands by the roadside.
When I was eleven, we moved into a house with a much bigger yard. Dad got into gardening with a passion! He plowed up a big patch, bought a roto tiller and put in a bunch of vegetables. As a kid I did not realize how far ahead of the times he was. This was in the early 70's the environmental movement had a good start and people were starting to pay attention to what they ate.
My Dad was rather conservative, a little bit like Archie Bunker on somethings, but when it came to the garden he would not use any chemical fertilizers or bug sprays. We had a proper compost pit and he worked hard to recycle. I remember him proudly bragging to a friend that even with five people living in the house full time, we put less than half a can of garbage on the curb each week. When we got bugs on the bean plants, we were given old cardboard juice containers with a little oil in the bottom and a
Popsicle stick. We looked on the underside of every leaf, when we found a bug, it went into the oil and Dad dispatched them in the burn barrel (I am not sure about the environmental impact from the burn barrel, I can't remember what all went in there but I think it was mostly paper). When the beans were ripe, they were wonderful. I think they tasted better because we had to work so hard to get them. The house came with several apple and plum trees, a pear tree, an English walnut, four grape vines, currents and a black cap patch (Black caps are huge black berries). Mom put coffee grounds on the roots of the grape vines and Dad made wine from their juice. We made jams, jellies, canned all sorts of vegetables and even fruit leather. Dad built Mom a fruit dryer. She made her own soup mix. We dried things by the bushel. We ate well! I remember more than once getting in trouble because I left
Mom's salt shaker in the garden. We didn't eat much salt but have you ever picked green peppers and tomatoes warm from the garden, put a little salt on them and eaten them right there? Oh my.
I am getting a little ahead of my pictures here. The next two after the flamingo are a Savannah park or "Square" and a Savannah garden, two of the reasons we love to visit there. The Squares are all over town. They are all different and all beautiful. The next two are some of my recent favorite flower photos the first also from Savannah the next from my garden.

When we lived in Britain, we walked in a lot of gardens. When I was pregnant that was our primary form of exercise. I was surrounded by beauty. They British are some of the best gardeners in the world. You can tour large formal gardens in different parts of the country year round. Local gardeners will
occasionally open their gardens for tours to raise funds for charity. I have some lovely memories of Lady Meridith Owen in King Sutton.
When we first moved into the village, my sweet Hubby put a floral border around our lawn. That was exactly what it took to fit in. We quickly became part of the village. One of our neighbors brought us some leeks from his allotment, he had too many. That introduced us to two great things at once. The leeks were fantastic and it wasn't long before we had an allotment too. We had old fashioned fragrant roses in the back yard and flowers climbing the wall.
When the Air Force sent us to New Mexico, we found a house out in the country and preceded to bring gardening with us. We put in a formal garden with shaped bushes, formal paths, lawn, and a circle of lavender that was quite impressive. We planted a
couple hundred trees. We dug a trench from tree to tree and hauled out several rolls of hose for watering. The garden demanded a lot of hours but it was lovely. An oasis. Mother Nature is a little harder out there.
When we finally landed here in the woods, Mother Nature is a little easier to please. Almost too easy. I never thought we would be cutting down volunteer trees because there were too many. This photo shows some of our lovely berries. We only get a handful ripe a time, but that is about right. We had some with ice cream last night. The lovely butterfly posed for me on our walk the other day. They love my lavender plants.
We are a long ways from old, but we are getting to
point where we want gardens that we can enjoy without all the work. Just mowing the current configuration takes several hard hours. We have started looking for ideas that require less maintenance. Maybe more brick paths, flowers and bushes, less lawn. I know we will keep part of it wild, we both love it that way.
The rock garden out front is a good start. The yellow flowers in the penultimate photo are Forsythia.
Last but not least, my current favorite photo, a gladiola next to the base of my house. The photo is beautiful and if you look closely at the background, you can compare the original brick to more recent replacements. The house was originally built up on brick pillars. Later on someone went back and filled in around the pillars. We are situated on good red clay. The bricks were more than likely made on the
site as the house was built.
I suppose I should close for now, I have a cozy cat on my lap and she wants to be petted. By the way, most of this Post was written out with longhand using a bamboo fun tablet by Wacom.
Have a great weekend.


  1. What a lovely post, and some lovely memories there.
    My earliest memory of gardening (of sorts) was pulling tomatoes off my Grandpa's tomato plants in his greenhouse, (with his permission, I should add).
    What a beautiful butterfly. Sadly, I haven't seen many butterflies this year.

  2. hi kat, lovely to meet you, thanks for your sweet comments! love your photos & those floral displays are amazing!!

  3. beautiful post and photos!
    xoxo, Tiffany

  4. I'm so glad you dropped by my blog and left me a trail to yours. I've enjoyed myself so much. My husband and I enjoy gardening, but I think I love it a little more. He has to do more these days. We have to care for his parents in an assisted living place. They are 91 and 92. They have professional care when we aren't there.

    Last year we built a small greenhouse and it has been so much fun. I need to get seedling started. My cousin gave me some really nice seeds. I gave her some that are almost carefree and promised her some of the old fashioned lantana. I saw you have some yourself.

    It must have been exciting to go to Marakesh! When we get some time hopefully we will be able to travel some.


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