Grandma on Gardening

As mentioned in my last post, my dad recently discovered two speeches by my Grandma – one on cooking given in 1958 and one on gardening, which unfortunately does not have a date.

I am not much of a gardener; however, Grandma’s thoughts on gardening are quite profound and beautiful. I was never able to see any of Grandma’s gardens, as Grandma and Grandpa lived in a condo by the time I was born. I can only imagine how beautiful her garden, along with Aunt Izetta’s garden, was on the farms back in the day.

If you are a person who loves to garden or aspires to be that person (like me), then I encourage us to grow gardens that reflect who we are and who we wish to become.



Personality in the Garden

When Izetta [the wife of Grandpa’s brother, Don] and I were asked if we would tell you what we plan to do this Fall in our gardens for a gay and glorious Spring, we thought we might elaborate and try to tell you what we hope to accomplish every season with our gardens—this is our ultimate dream and we hope some day to achieve it.

Have you ever thought of your garden as expressing your personality—so much so if a friend came to call and not finding you home decided to stroll through your garden? When she left, she felt as if she had had a real visit with you because everything there reminded her so much of you? She could almost feel your presence.

This is exactly the way it should be—so with this thought in mind, we go on with our planning.

First, we want our garden to have an atmosphere of warmth and friendliness. It must be a place to relax, to rest and enjoy the companionship of our friends. We see the outdoor barbecue, the tables and other things that makes entertaining so gracious.

Second, the way we plan our complete overall garden effect with its background, sunny borders, shady nooks, lily pools, birdbaths, and charm spot will reflect imagination and originality. These extras can make a small garden appear more spacious or a large garden more cozy thereby creating a different kind for each.

Ours must be a garden in which to weave memories, memories of friends, places and trips, where we have obtained some of the plants we tend with loving care. Izetta’s Mother has made her garden so special as on several occasions she has sent Izetta plants from her own garden which makes it so much meaningful that any you buy. Speaking of memories, whenever I plant my Dahlias each Spring, I always remember the first ones Dad gave saying he didn’t think they would do very well as he had never had very good luck. Needless to say, I dug that bed to China and nursed the Dahlias with tender loving care and they did beautifully and it so happened the ones he had in town didn’t do a thing—off the record it was the gardener’s fault for over watering—but I really had fun kidding him. So memories do add a lot to our garden. It must also be a garden in which to dream and build air castles, and feel that they will all come true.

It must be a garden of fragrance of roses, lilacs, lilies and Jasmines.

It must be a place where the old and new mingle in perfect harmony. To my way of thinking, gardens are like human beings in that Time and Age give them a certain charm that cannot be achieved any other way. We lie this kind of charm (like in a family) that comes with the mingling of the old and the new—not all of either one. We want the old fashioned hollyhocks, bleeding hearts and tanzy that come from our Grandmother’s garden to grow side by side with the finest and newest hybrid marigolds, zinnias and petunias of today.

The ambition of every gardener is to have blossoms around the calendar.

This is a real challenge and whether we obtain this success or not—it is good to know that by our efforts something has brown and brought beauty and pleasure.

In the early Spring months this garden must create magic with scillas, crocus, daffodils, tulips, ranunculas, candytuft, phlox, alyssum, pansies, hyacinths, columbine, stocks and calendulas—grouped together in beds and borders displaying fascinating and novelty color schemes. Let’s don’t forget our wonderful California roses that add so much color, fragrance and charm—not only in Spring but for many months.

As these beauties begin to fad the Shasta daisies, Canterbury bells, iris, peonies, gladiolas, larkspur, fever few, sweet Williams, foxgloves take up the parade and carry on till the hot dry months of July, August, and September.

But by careful planning ahead for these months, we can have quite a few blossoms in our garden—the beautiful pink, white, yellow like blossoms of perennial phlox, petunia, marigold, salvia all perform well in hot weather as well as the old stand by zinnia—and to there will be begonias, lilies, fancy leaf caladiums and ferns growing in shady nooks to give an atmosphere of coolness.

When the first cool days of Autumn remind us that Summer is past, our garden will be radiant with gorgeous chrysanthemums in very color of the rainbow to make our hearts glad and thank the heavenly Father for letting us share with him such a wonderful partnership as planning and growing a garden.

Then we can look forward to the sheer joy of going out into our garden during the cold winter days and cutting the most perfect of flowers, the Camellia to add beauty to our homes and warmth to our hearts.

As we finish the plans for our garden which is to reflect our personalities—we must not forget to add Humility, Love and Patience, and Kindness to every bed and every border to bloom every day and month of the year. Let us be reminded again that gardens are like human beings—just like you and just like me—the more they are loved and the more they respond to love—the more charming they become.


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