06 April 2015

Garden Friends


My mom e-mailed today to tell me it would have been her dad's birthday.  The photo she attached shows him kneeling in his garden, face turned up, cowboy had securely placed, surrounded by rows of good things to eat.

He died thirty-five years ago.  I'm not thirty-five yet, which means I never met him.

I do hear stories of how generous he was, both with money and garden produce.  I hear how he made soda water pancakes when everyone went camping (or at least got credit for them...it's hard to tell from the stories just how much help he really got from my grandma!).

And I hear about his garden.  How he grew enough corn to dry and grind for their own cornmeal--enough for a family of two parents, eight children, and who knows how many guests arriving who knows with how much notice.

That's a lot of corn meal.

I hear about how he bought ladybugs to come into the garden and eat the aphids.  I've been glad to see more ladybugs in the garden this year, but I haven't bought any. 

Unless you count the ladybug nail clippers and the ladybug squeeze toys I bought for my piano students, to remind them to clip their nails and curve their fingers.  But that's different.

I do think my grandfather and I would have been good friends.  Even if we wouldn't have had anything more than gardens in common.  Gardens, after all, can take up enough of life to be enough for a good bond.

And do you see who else came to the garden this spring?  They chose the right time this year, when the dill was big and I was already letting it go to seed.  We ended up with three little guys, as far as I could tell. 

In these photos, they're probably ready to run off and find somewhere to hang as chrysalises for a while, but I haven't figured out where they went to do that.  I hope they chose safe places.

I still can't get over their adorable stumpy feet.

You'll notice that the dill looks a bit beat up and ragged.  It has good reason to.  A week and half ago, my neighbor called to warn me that a bad storm was coming. 

My husband was home on lunch break, so we quickly shut the windows, gathered the littlest potted plants and put them under cover, and said a prayer for protection.

Then the hail started, with stones an inch and a half across.  It was like the sky was hurling ice cubes everywhere.  Some hit windows.  The hail lasted about five minutes, and in the end there wasn't significant damage, even in the garden--except for a few broken dill stems.

And we are grateful indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you and your grandfather would have been good friends! It isn't inconceivable that you will garden together YET...


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