Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Old Fashioned Gardening

If you are still freezing, caught in the grip of a polar vortex, I apologize for this post. We, the gardeners of Tucson, are in lust, thanks to the luscious, warm sunshine. With temperatures in the 70's and 80's, it's hard to stay inside.

Unfortunately, the garden store's offerings reflect the calendar more than my desire. They had petunias and calibrocha and violas and gazania, but they'd been there all winter, too.
I bought some, because I needed something to plant with my new bag of soil , but I left the nursery resigned to the fact that I would have to repot and deadhead and prune rather than plant anything new and exciting.
Kneeling on my Happy-Birthday-Mommy-present from many years ago, I swiveled around, in search of a trowel.  The first one (bottom right) had too large a scoop; the second one had a string through the handle..... 
and that was the end of gardening for a long while.

I sat in the potting shed and looked around.  My parents were everywhere. Not only in the ancient trowel with the Daddooooo-drilled hole-in-the-handle for the hanging cord, but in his ball peen hammer, my most used tool.

I tried to open the potting soil with the point of his weed killer, and I failed.
I took some time to admire the fact that he had painted not only the handle, but the business end of the tool, as well.  Was it Rustoleum or was it a flowering of his inner artiste?  
Probably, a little of both.  

 Having failed with the pointed pick, I resorted to G'ma's utility scissors.
They live in my potting shed these days, but anyone who was ever in my mother's kitchen remembers cutting chicken parts and opening jars with these scissors.  Sixty-some years old, and they made fast work of the built-to-last- bag.

My 25 year old bonsai shears have been repaired twice.

The kids and I bought the sign

 when we were in LA for Sammy's Daddy's Bar Mitzvah.  It sat proudly among the tomatoes and the squash and the lettuce on Long Island, and came back with me to California. Now, we are in Tucson, Daddy, and......

after a moment or two with one another.....

 I placed the newly planted (soon to be) hanging basket on the seat of the Testa Rossa he made so that Big Cuter could have his own Ferrari, and a fancier one than Dad's, at that. 
My father was everywhere, from the license plate he found for Big Cuter to the key chain he received in return.
I saved them both, just as he saved this ruler -
the one both my brother and I 
used in elementary school.

It was a simpler time; the smallest unit we needed was the inch.
Mail was delivered into this -
which also moved from Oceanside, New York to Tucson, Arizona
along with all those tools
and all those memories.

It may be too early to do any real planting, but it's never too early for remembering.


  1. Wish I could garden. I don't have a green thumb at all. BUT... I love flowers and the ones you have grown are absolutely beautiful. You inspire me to have my hubby start a garden again. We had one in our old house, but that was 13 years ago. The kids have been begging for one for a few years now. Maybe this will be the year.

    Sending hugs!

    Megan xxx

    1. Start SMALL. 2'x2' is plenty for lettuce, small tomato, flowers. Irrigation on a regular basis is key. Start with healthy plants. You can do it! I can help!


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