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Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Tiny rose
by Mauverneen Blevins

When my grandmother died I remember thinking if she left me something, I hoped it was her green thumb. She could grow anything. Her windowsills were full of blooming African Violets, the only houseplants she ever had I think. She could take a cutting from a rose bush, stick it in the ground, overturn a glass jar on it for an instant mini-mini-greenhouse, and before long there would be another rose bush growing under there.

Both my grandparents had green thumbs actually, growing the most awesome garden year after year. I grew up eating fresh veggies on a daily basis and fruit, like cherries and peaches, from the trees in the yard. I even helped can everything at summer's end - my job was to wash the cucumbers. And flowers? From spring tulips to fall mums, their yard was full of variety and color – Geraniums, Dahlias, Coral Bells, Irises, etc. etc. To this day mums are my favorite – I think because they remind me of my grandparents - and my childhood. And whenever I smell lilacs, I just close my eyes and breath deep to be transported back to the alley behind the house on Draper Avenue, where towering lilac bushes bordered both sides and a path was worn between my house and my friend Rita’s.

Sweet Tomatoes On the Vine

Living in Reno I was reduced to a couple of tomato plants in containers. The ground out there is far too rocky for any kind of garden without a lot of serious work! But this year I had a real garden again with lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, peppers (3 kinds), and lots of tomatoes!

Zucchini Blossom
It’s been fun watching everything go from wispy seedlings to becoming a bona fide, producing garden - in spite of the hot, dry weather we had earlier this summer when I had to do a lot of watering to keep things green. Much as I watered, they knew the difference between the garden hose and the rain - the growth spurt after a rain is amazing.

My first cantaloupe
I have a zucchini! I posted on Facebook when said zucchini was only about 2 inches long. I have had several since and just realized that I have given every one of them away – I haven’t tasted one yet! I may have to remedy that tonight. And then dig out my recipe for zucchini bread. I'm going to need it.

I have cucumbers! I emailed my daughters – come get some. Please.     

I have melons! I cried when I discovered a 6 inch orb under the leaves.

I have broccoli! I announced when what I thought was supposed to be cabbage wasn’t forming heads, deciding to become broccoli instead.
A Garden visitor
I still only have two carrots though. I haven't seen any rabbits and the lettuce is still intact so I have no idea what happened there! I do get a few other visitors amongst the leaves, like squirrels, chipmunks and birds but thankfully none of them are interested in nibbling.

So far not too many cherry tomatoes have made it to the table. I have to confess I tend to pick and eat those while I'm out there checking to see if the celery has grown at all overnight. Or if possibly another carrot has sprouted. But the other tomatoes will soon be ripe and although I have to admit to a bit of cringing when I think about all the canning I have ahead of me, the taste will be worth every drop I will sweat over that hot stove.

I always did like playing in the dirt.

Mauverneen Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?   
With coral bells and Positive spells and pepper plants all in a row.

And a little help from Grandma I think.

From this                                                                              to this!

As always, words and photos are my own, and require permission to reprint. However, feel free to share the blog in it's entirety. In fact, I encourage it!                 
To see more of my photos go to my FineArt America galleries

1 comment:

  1. Well, here in SC, the gardening is declining. I did plant a bumper crop of pinto beans and in another month I can plant spinach, collards and such, but this is the hot, muggy, time when the garden is limping along, the fruit coming in smaller. Okra, however, is king. And the jalapenos are in full throttle. Amazing how things grow differently in different placed. Thanks for sharing.

    C. Hope Clark
    Lowcountry Bribe
    Bell Bridge Books, Feb 2012