I’m Getting the Itch..

04 Mar

Last evening I was cleaning up the kitchen and opened the drawer that holds my leftover seeds from last year’s garden.

I pulled them out and started looking at the different envelopes. The watermelon looked delicious and the package of snap peas made me long for the days of standing in the garden, picking a snap pea and eating it where I stood.

When I think of gardening one person comes to mind, my husband’s grandma. She loved gardening. When Grandma was living gardening was her whole life. She was legally blind from macular degeneration and a widow since 1961. Her hands and feet were twisted from arthritis but she loved to garden.

 She would plan out her garden on pieces of paper. Her writing because of her poor eyesight was large and childlike printing. Each year she would pull out her plans from the last year and plan where she would plant this year’s crop. She would decide what seeds she needed to order and my mother-in-law would help her order. In the later years the garden became more of a joint project. I can still see her handwriting on paper if I close my eyes.

She would spend hours crawling on her hands and knees tending to her garden. This was no small garden but measured about 20′ by 30′. Each year there was always talk of making it a little smaller but it hasn’t happened yet. My husband said that he had his taste first salsa in his grandma’s kitchen long before it ever hit the grocery store shelves. She made her own in her little kitchen with ingredients fresh from her garden.

She was born in 1899 and live to be 90 years old. She worked in her garden until two years before her death she had a stroke and could no longer work the garden. She lived a frugal life. She lived in a small log cabin with a couple of additions on it. She ate what she raised in her garden with a few other items from the grocery store. After her stroke she longer to sit in a chair next to the garden with her sun hat on while my mother-in-law continued their tradition of gardening.

Last evening I found the above photo that I took in my garden of the bee on the sunflower and it brought back the memories of the warm days of summer wandering around in Grandma’s garden to check out the progress of everything growing.


Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Family, gardening, Nature, Reflections


Tags: , , ,

20 responses to “I’m Getting the Itch..

  1. belleofthecarnival

    March 4, 2011 at 9:50 am

    A very lovely tribute to your Grandma! I’m also getting the itch and beginning to wonder if I should start an indoor garden.

    • flyinggma

      March 4, 2011 at 10:17 am

      I just read an article in Life:beautiful magazine last evening about starting terrariums maybe that is what got me thinking about the garden instead of the sunflower photo. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Jeanne

  2. planejaner

    March 4, 2011 at 10:03 am

    so funny–since I just today wrote a post about…wishing i HAD the itch, this year, and wondering if “there is a pill to increase desire” (for gardening).

    I want to feel it again!

    • flyinggma

      March 4, 2011 at 10:18 am

      I think winter has been long enough so we are trying to send our thoughts in new directions.

  3. 36x37

    March 4, 2011 at 10:34 am

    What a lovely, heartfelt post, Jeanne. You described your husband’s grandmother so beautifully. She sounds like a remarkable woman who refused to let anything stand between her and her passion to create and harvest.

    Wonderfully written.

    • flyinggma

      March 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

      Thanks Maura. I loved Grandma Berg’s gentle spirit. She was so kind and soft spoken.

  4. nrhatch

    March 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Wonderful post, Jeanne. My dad’s an avid gardener who’s now sidelined. He misses it. Me too.

    I’m going to plant some things on the back deck this year.

  5. flyinggma

    March 4, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    My Dad is an avid gardener as well. He still loves to plant more tomato plants each year than my Mom likes to deal with for canning. I haven’t decided what I will plant new this year but I like to try something new each year in the perennial & annual variety.

  6. Carol Ann Hoel

    March 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    What an inspiring post and beautiful photo! There was a season of my life that included gardening. We always had a large garden. It was fun, especially to this city girl learning a new skill. Blessings to you as you plant this year…

  7. flyinggma

    March 4, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    My first three years of trying to plant a vegetable garden as a new wife will have to be a subject of another post. Let’s just say it didn’t go well for many reasons. I’ve found my niche with perennials. I enjoy them and have a hard time killing them off. Blessings to you Carol.

  8. writerwoman61

    March 5, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I enjoyed this post too, Jeanne…my grandma was from the same era (born 1904, died 1987). She had a vegetable garden every year. It was at her house that I first learned to love zucchini!


    • flyinggma

      March 5, 2011 at 6:50 pm

      The only time we lock our cars around here is zucchini season. We love it but it grows abundantly and everyone is trying to give away their extras. You may find a grocery bag full in your car if you leave it open 🙂

  9. sunshineinlondon

    March 6, 2011 at 8:26 am

    What a lovely post, Jeanne. I could picture your husband’s grandma, and so got the essence of her spirit. How special that you have those memories of her and the joy she got from creating a garden and eating from it.
    Sunshine xx

    • flyinggma

      March 6, 2011 at 9:14 am

      She was a dear delightful woman. I wish she was still around so my kids could see how simply she lived her life and how happy she was with less.

  10. JoDee Luna

    March 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I’m with you on this one. The desire to garden again keeps getting stronger as our California weather warms. I let all of my patio plants die over the winter, so I have a great excuse to dig in the dirt once again. Thanks for warming my day with this delightful post.

    • flyinggma

      March 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      We got another 4 inches of snow today so my gardening will have to wait for awhile. I don’t have much luck keeping plants alive in the house during the winter months.

  11. Linda

    March 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I have very similiar memories of my grandmother’s garden. The soil was different than any other I have ever seen. It was ashey colored and silky feeling. I loved to go barefoot in it. My great aunt and uncle had a house and garden right across the street. Now when I see or smell corn I think of my grandmother and figs, my great aunt. Such wonderful memories.

  12. flyinggma

    March 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Each summer we wait for the potatoes so we can eat new potatoes and for the corn to ripen so we can have corn on the cob.

  13. pearlsandprose

    March 7, 2011 at 8:50 am

    What a remarkable woman she was, Jeanne. Very inspiring.

    I’m dying to hit the nurseries near us, but know it’s too soon. There was snow half an hour away last night. Will just have to look at my gardening catalogs.

  14. flyinggma

    March 7, 2011 at 9:07 am

    She was a remarkable woman and still is an inspiration whenever there is some obstacle in my way. I just buckle down and get to work and adjust my attitude.


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