Friday, April 6, 2012

Learn baby Learn

When I was little this was my life, planting, weeding, caring for life that lived in the rich, bountiful soil. My world was surrounded by family with green thumbs and hearts for planting, making the soil rich, watering, and yanking out the tangled weeds that wrapped around our beautiful flora.

My Memaw would wear big hats, thick gloves, and gardening clothes, she would tackle a project, rake up mulch, apply manure and put down more mulch each year. The richness of her soil was magical, the touch of hand like the fairies...tapping their wands with flowers bursting open. And hey if it died, throw it out and start a fresh, water, love and care were all her plants needed, mistakes were learned from and her garden was always bigger and better for them.  She rocked the gardening world and had a love for doing it that completely filled her.

On Sunday afternoons, church clothes would be hung back up, work clothes put on, a shovel thrown in the van and my mother would be off to salvage what she could off the land. Digging up bulbs in ditches, finding baby trees to take home, and filling up with flowers by the box full. 

Trading went on like crazy during the spring, cardboard boxes full of dirt and green stalks were passed out like candy and left on door steps, cuttings were given away and yards were full of gifts that welcomed you everytime you drove up.
I grew up thinking flowers were free, well minus the hard work of labor,  and the realization when I started planting in my first home was a shock to my bank account.  I desired bountiful, old plants that were full and luscious, not realizing that what you get from neighbors and what I got from the local nursery did not measure up.

Plant lovers have there clubs and circles, they talk and compete for the best yard, all the while trading with  each other when bulbs multiply or zinnias are out of control.

We have this portion of land in our woods that is open and sunny, perfect for a garden and fruit trees. We started our small, family orchard years ago when we first arrived. Six trees later and an expansion are on our mind, hoping that some day, when one of our littles is big enough, they will take over the picking and sorting, making a little profit off the hard work we put into this land.
We are not short on workers and every year as another little steps in and fills a job of an older, and an older fills a job of Corey and mine, we see that having them by our side, making them work along with us has instilled a love and dedication for what we hope to build and produce. There are so many times I wish I would have stayed by mother's side while she worked on her flowers, planted cuttings from bushes, often I wonder if I had walked along side my grandmother, would I know more about how to place certain plants beside each other to better them and make them stronger. Would there be less internet searches, less searching through perennial books to find just what I am looking for, I probably wouldn't get so excited to find out a secret or trick only to have a green thumb let down when I find out that it has been known for longer then I have been born and time would be on my side if I had listened to the wisdom of a more knowledgeable generation.
When my children start to complain about family work (which they don't do very often) I am just going to yell, "Here's your knowledge baby, here is your experience, watch our mistakes, listen, see us learning because babe your going to wish for it someday." said in my loving mother yell.

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