Thursday, May 19, 2005

In honor of my mother,

who died six years ago today, Thursday was gardening day.

(Quick story about this photo--this is my mother's college freshman yearbook picture. She was the only one in the 1938 College of the Ozarks yearbook who had her photo taken this way. The reason why--she had been kicked in the right side of her face by the family mule! Her face was so bruised they couldn't take the photo any other way. I think it's an absolutely beautiful picture, but a funny story.)

My Mom was a gardening whiz. She could make anything grow. Every year I would have to haul her to every nursery and garden store we could find just so she could find the perfect tomato plants. She also grew everything else you could think of--okra and corn and peppers and potatoes and onions, and on and on. She loved her red geraniums, and we always had to buy several of those for the planters she had on her front porch. She also loved to can, so we always made trips to the orchard to buy apples and peaches and all kids of things so she could make jelly or preserves. She had a real talent for that kind of thing. I inherited her green thumb to a point, but I've never had a vegetable garden of my own. I guess I'm just too lazy--and I hate the heat. But she loved it--couldn't wait until spring every year. I miss those trips. Having a "garden" of my own reminds me of those times.

I haven't had any outside flowers in several years, and I couldn't stand it any more. Every time I drive by a garden center or flower stand, they call to me--"Don't you want me? Aren't I beautiful? I'm not much trouble, honest!" My hands have been itching for days to get dirty, so today I went shopping.

Now, in my world, there is a formula to shopping for summer flowers. One MUST have the red geraniums--this should be a standard for any garden. Likewise with red and white petunias, and you get extra points if you can find the red-and-white striped or red with white edging (you must look for these early in the planting season, because there are never enough and they sell out very quickly). You must also have some of one or all of the "mosses"--Spanish moss, rose moss, portulaca, whatever you want to call it. There are several different types that I heap into the "moss" category, but you must have some in your garden.

After this--it's a free-for-all.

I guess it's still early in the season, because I found a lot of things that I absolutely love that I couldn't live without. One plant here, half a dozen there, and I had a car full of goodies.

Then you have to come home and unload it all--and in my case, haul it up a flight of stairs.

Obviously, I'm too old for such exertion. And with the warm temps and the high humidity, by noon it was unbearable. After I collapsed on the bed under the ceiling fan to cool off and catch my breath, I did what any savvy apartment dweller would do--I brought everything inside and proceeded to plant my flowers under the air conditioning. Yes, it makes a mess, but what are vacuum cleaners for?

Here are some very quick shots of the results:

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There is one last rule for gardening at Casa Katya--one must always buy too much. I still have to find a home for this:

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However, I'm not doing anything more today. Right now I plan on having a very cold, refreshing shower, and then taking a nap. I'm very happy, but very tired.

To paraphrase our Fearless Leader, "Gardening is Hard Work."

(Oh yeah, and I got my hair chopped off. Hard Work, I tell you . . . .)

And Mom, I'm still trying to decide if I should buy some tomato plants--and maybe some herbs--and I really didn't get a good look at all the plants at that last place . . . .


At May 19, 2005 3:54 PM, Anonymous Missy said...

Wow - you should have told us that today was the anniversary...tsk tsk. Your plants are beautimous! Now I know who to call when I'm ready to do my house.

At May 19, 2005 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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