Redesigning Rose’s dedication is:
“To my Mom, Granny and Granny, the three strongest women I’ve known.”
There are thousands of ways these three women have influenced my life, and I can’t even begin to think of who I would have become without them. And one such way is with gardening so I shouldn’t have been so surprised when Redesigning Rose ended up having such a heavy gardening theme.
Granny at the Lake (read this post for the Granny/Granny explanation) was the heaviest gardener of us all. She was president of her local horticultural society and had at least eight garden beds – none of them small. And when my brothers and I spent what we hoped would be lazy summer days at her house on Lake Simcoe every summer, we were always out of luck. She woke us up at 6:00am to weed her gardens. I kid you not. Every morning unless there was a storm brewing we were out there batting away mosquitoes and yanking out as much clover, dandelions and creeping Charlie as our tiny hands could grasp. And her gardens were somehow continuously clustered with weeds no matter how much we clutched and clawed at them. All we wanted to do was go fishing. It’s a bit miraculous that I ended up loving gardening after all that. Weeding the gardens though is another story altogether though. It’s a fond memory now (mostly) and I’d give anything to be able to plop down beside her in the garden and yank out some weeds while chatting.
Granny Down the Street also had her own beautiful gardens that we plodded around in and plucked flowers from. We also watched as her and my grandfather cultivated a large vegetable garden at the “farm” – not a real farm, but a second property they spent summers at an hour away from the city. Grandpa also tended to apple trees, a cherry tree and dozens of fruit bearing bushes containing gooseberries, raspberries, black and red currants. I grew up watching the satisfaction of growing your own fruits and vegetables and have carried that forward through years of growing my own vegetable gardens.
My mom also had elaborate gardens lush with colour and scent for every season. She gave us each a little patch when we were small to plant something and take care of it. I grew strawberries and loved watching them sprout off another shoot and root and grow. Her gardens were luscious and gorgeous to look at, and we helped her along the way, but I think it was her sanctuary, a slice of peace each summer which must have been rare raising three young children.
Right now my own garden grows slowly one year at a time. The house my husband and I currently reside in is a temporary home, and we are reluctant to throw a lot of money and energy into something we may leave soon. This makes me sad sometimes, but I still love puttering around outside, planting small seedlings in the spring and watching them grow. I love the peace I feel in the garden and the creativity it sparks in me. At the cottage things are a little different as we do have a large vegetable garden and nothing brings me more satisfaction than walking outside and gathering everything we need for a meal.
Here are a few photos of our vegetable garden and its bounty and one of an interesting cucumber we managed to grow… and if you love gardening, or even just like it a bit or are thinking about giving it a whirl, check out Redesigning Rose.