When I was a little girl, I lived in a rural area in central Indiana. I grew up within a “Yours, Mine and Ours” family (which is the common family type these days) and therefore had three Grandmothers. All were unique in attitude and mindset and all had there own garden at one point or another. Over the next few posts I will write about each Grandmother and her garden. In return, I hope you will write me and tell me about yours.
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Ruthadell was the Mother of my Father’s newlywed bride. It was the ‘70’s and I was six years old when Dad married Ruthadell’s daughter, Linda. Every weekend we would traipse out to Grandma’s farm for a sleepover and Sunday dinner. She and Grandpa raised corn, soybeans, wheat, and at the time, hogs. There was an older man who lived in a spare bedroom upstairs from their 100 year old farmhouse who was a farm-helper. For free food, rent and a little cash, he helped my Grandpa manage the property.
Grandma was an excellent cook who made lots of Southern favorites using food from her garden. Her girth spoke to lots of food sampling while she was cooking and she had an efficient way about her whether in the kitchen or the garden – enjoying the fact that she made others happy by her efforts.
Grandma was more of a vegetable gardener than a flower gardener; there was a large vegetable garden with sweet corn, peas, green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, watermelon and pumpkins. At age 6, I was thrilled to plant the seeds for Grandma – my favorite one year being Sunflowers. I was amazed they grew over 6 foot tall!
In the Spring, Grandma had the loveliest pink peonies I’ve ever seen flower huge in the front yard. Every Memorial Day Grandma would drawl in a Southern accent, “it’s time to cut the ‘pine-ees’ and take’em to the cemetery.” The women in the family would diligently cut the flowers and put them in foil wrapped coffee cans filled with water and leave them on the family graves.
In the summer she had huge blooming circles of old-fashioned orange daylilies. The three giant patches of perennial flowers were planted in a low-lying wet spot in front of the white fenced barn yard. They did their duty and covered the wet area, while showing a beautiful display every year. Every weekend during the bloom season I’d go out, pick dozens and make them into crowns and wreaths which only lasted a day before wilting into flatness.
On rainy late summer days we’d sit out on the covered front porch shelling peas together from her vegetable garden. I’ll never forget the thrill of watching a thunder and lightning storm while sitting next to Grandma on the porch swing.
By the time I was nine, Grandma could no longer maintain the garden and only put out pots of geraniums and petunias every year. But the few short years of memories I have of her bending over planting and watering with me will last a life time.
Shawna Coronado says Get Healthy! Get Green! Get Community!