When my sister and I cleaned out our parents’ home, we had to make many decisions about what to do with all the stuff. Which things are truly “valuable” and which have only sentiment in their favor? Should we sell it, keep it, or throw it away? To help ensure a future for our family’s heirlooms, I plan to leave a booklet for my daughters telling the stories of what they will inherit one day. (Not TOO soon, I hope!) With this challenge I begin my book of Heirlooms.
is for yard tools. I did not inherit my grandmother’s green thumb, but I did get her grubbing hoe and watering can.
My maternal grandmother Lucille Rucker Davis always had beautiful flowers and delicious tomatoes growing side by side. Her garden was not the beautifully planned and dedicated space that drives aficionados of Pinterest to pin and repin. But she did know the value of digging a $5.00 hole for a 50¢ plant.
As I looked for pictures to show off Grandma’s beautiful camellias and peonies, I just laughed at the sorry state of her flower beds.
Sadly, we didn’t catch them in their glory. Our pictures are of beds that needed weeding and a little mulch. In my mind’s eye, though, I see the sparkle of white Spirea in bloom. Camellia bushes bursting with pink and red blooms. Blue hydrangea bending under their own weight. Tulips and daffodils. Tall gladiolas in pink, purple, white, and yellow held upright with a stick. Forsythia in March. Azaleas in April. Creeping Phlox and Candy Tuft dotted here and there to mark the outer limits of foundation beds.
|Me in Grandma's backyard|
Grandma didn’t invest a lot of time in a vegetable garden. She simply made room in the flower beds for a few tomato plants because even in the 1960s good tomatoes, “real” tomatoes, were not to be had in the grocery store. She also had a reliable fig tree that supplied all she needed for everyone’s anticipated gift of fig preserves.
I’m no master gardener, but I like changing my flowers out with the seasons. Grandma always emphasized the importance of frequent watering to get new plants established, and so I try to follow her advice. Admittedly the watering can requires more trips than the garden hose, but I do believe flowers prefer its soft rain. And the hoe - it is always by my side if I need to chop out a stubborn root or dig that $5 hole.
© 2018, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.