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Re: Beginning gardening

My mother and her mother were gardeners.  I was allowed to weed the roses
and tomatoes and plant carrot seeds and that was about it, until I bought
this place.  You know the rest....

On 2/16/06, Chris Petersen <chris@widom-assoc.com> wrote:
> Both of my grandmothers were gardeners. My father's mother had a city
> garden
> behind a brownstone. It was formal with statuary and a gazing globe. It
> had
> a small lawn where we used to relax in lawn chairs. My maternal
> grandparents
> lived in the country. They grew vegetables and old-fashioned flowers like
> hollyhocks. We used to pick peas to shell and husk corn on the cob. They
> had
> a hen house where we collected eggs as well. I loved that old farm house
> with its hand pumped well and a ravine on the property.  We did a lot of
> exploring there!  One of my favorite pastimes was hunting for garter
> snakes.
> As a child, my parents had gardens wherever we lived. When I was a small,
> there was a weeping willow tree that took up a lot of the backyard of our
> Cape Cod style house. My mother grew roses and annuals like petunias and
> moonflower vines.  I had a small garden space on the back side of the
> house
> where nothing grew very well.  It was pretty shady and I remember moss
> grew
> well in that spot!  We also had a towering clump of pampas grass that gave
> us paper cuts if we brushed up against it playing hide and seek. Somewhere
> there was a kerria bush and of course forsythias along the back fence.
> At my next childhood home, my parents planted our Christmas trees every
> year
> until the house was hidden from the front. There was an acre of land that
> seemed like an estate when I had to mow it as I became a teenager. My
> mother
> had some garden beds under some black pines where she grew mostly
> pass-along
> plants from friends and relatives like Shasta daisies, thistles, poppies
> and
> black-eyed Susans.  I took flowers from her garden with me when I moved
> into
> my own home. My dad grew vegetables.  We grew indoor plants as well
> especially hanging plants like wandering Jew, spider plants and Swedish
> ivy.
> When I moved out on my own, I grew many annuals from seed.  I specifically
> remember portulaca and zinnias. I also planted spring bulbs. I had a
> neighbor who loved gardening and she gave me old fashioned balsam and
> cleome. I planted a Christmas tree in the yard of every house I lived
> in.  I
> grew things indoors on my window sills and in macrami hangers.
> When I purchased my own home, a 1930's cottage with a 50' X 150' plot, I
> had
> flower beds along the driveway and vegetables out back. I ordered
> daylilies
> from Wilds and seeds from Burpee and Parks. I grew irises, dwarf
> rhododendrons, and uncommon annuals including coleus. I had house plants
> like a weeping fig tree, Rex Begonias and cacti. I loved making terariums
> and dish gardens.  I also joined an African Violet club quite by accident.
> I went to a local show and was giving growing advice to some people
> attending the sales.  The club members assumed I was a new member working
> at
> the sale and put me behind the counter!  My husband built me a six foot,
> three tired plant shelf with lights where I grew over 400 African violets
> and Gesneriads. I belonged to that club many years serving as an officer
> and
> Flower Show Chair. I often tell people that I got my best education about
> growing plants from that club. We learned everything from soil to
> fertilizers to propagation techniques to grooming for show!  Whoever
> hosted
> the executive board meeting served a formal tea. I never had a silver set
> or
> fancy china, but I took my turn.
> I've had aunts and cousins who loved gardening as well. Two of my three
> sisters love plants. The other sister has a brown thumb, although her
> husband grows tomatoes and she weeds!  My dad has a nice garden in his
> retirement home.  At 83, he still plants seeds in the spring for his
> squash,
> cucs, and flowers.
> Some of the plants I grow today are from divisions of plants from my
> childhood garden.  I have mini sinningias that I have grown for more than
> twenty years!  I especially love the plants Ive gotten from family and
> friends and I love to give plants away!
> I belong to a few arboretums, my local garden club (which meets in the day
> so I only can go to meetings twice in the summer), and of course the Long
> Island Daylily Society and the Hosta Society. Fortunately, the daylily
> group
> meets on Saturdays so I can make the meetings. I belong to two other
> e-mail
> groups, and as many have said, I've learned so much form these groups!
> Chris Petersen
> Northport, Long Island, New York
> Zone 7a (Average min temp 50 - 00)
> chris@widom-assoc.com
> My garden: http://photos.yahoo.com/chrispnpt
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Pam Evans
Kemp TX
zone 8A

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