There can be no greater pleasure than to share gardening. Gardening with children is an especially rewarding way to share the joy.
There was an article I read recently which said children are not learning gardening anymore. Families are too spread out and don't have close connections to grandparents, which traditionally (at least in my time) have been the primary trainers of up and coming gardeners. I learned to love gardening from my maternal grandmother and grandfather, and also from my paternal grandfather.
My grandmother was of the WW II generation and back then Victory Gardens were very big. She gardened and loved peonies most, and always wore gardening gloves; my grandfather did the heavy labor, such as chopping firewood, tilling and mowing. It worked.
My paternal grandfather, lost two wives to cancer. The second wife was my father's mother and she passed on when he was only 12. My grandfather, who died when I was only 12, used to take me to my grandmother's grave. He had planted a peony on her grave. He said it was forever and that was what he wanted growing on his grave. The last time I went to northern Maine (it has been awhile), we went to the cemetary. There are no markers on their graves, but the peonies are still growing and I had no trouble finding the graves. The seriousness of my grandfather about the peonies impressed a great love for flowers upon my young mind, especially peonies. Now you all can see why I am so happy they grow well here in Tennessee.
Where does all this lead besides telling you something mighty personal? To grandparents, gardening and children today. Really, not much has changed since I was a kid. Children still have grandparents, though families are often separated by distance, grandparents still garden, and nowadays, I think there are more parents gardening as well. You would never think this considering just how busy parents are with raising their children and working, but I truly believe more and more younger people are gardening because they value their homes and lives even more today.
Lola is a grandparent who loves to garden with her great grandchildren. The first picture is of her in her garden with the boys, the next two are of the boys, Anthony and Nicholas. Lola taught them how to plant the corn they are eating in the photographs. She is a hands on gardener with these two boys and you can see they enjoy the corn. They will also always have the good memories of growing those first ears of corn with their great grandmother.
The adorable baby sitting down with his 'Papa' is my grandson, Joshua. 'Papa' is Joshua's great grandfather, my mother's husband. Papa has had many grandchildren and great grandchildren on his lap over the years. He does a great job with them all and Josh is blessed to be close to a big part of his father's family in Maine. That family includes an aunt (my daughter Christy-she absolutely dotes on this baby and sees him daily), great aunts (Dawn with Peaches and Terri), cousins (Zack, Nikki-pictured below, Sandra and Heather), another set of great grandparents (my father and his wife), and various other uncles, aunts and distant cousins, as well as lots of friends. I am looking forward to teaching Josh all about gardening when he moves back to Tennessee. He will never remember his visits to the garden when he was only one month old, but he will be back someday. For now, I have to leave the teaching to my mother and extended family in Maine, since he and his parents (my son Brian and his wife Sarah) live there.
When I was growing up it was VERY rare to know great grandparents. It seems not to be rare anymore and many, many children are blessed to know not only their grandparents, but great grandparents too.
The sweet little blond boy with the big smile is anonymous's son, Jacob. You will hear her refer to him as "her sidekick" or the "little man". Jacob is the youngest of four; who all keep anonymous and her husband very busy, along with her gardening and new house. They walk around the south Clarksville neighborhood they call home right here in the Sango community on a daily basis and have a great time discovering all the flowers along the walk.
The little girl bravely touching the Prickly Pear, is my niece Nikki. She lives in Maine with her mother (Dawn with Peaches), father (Jack of all Trades), and big brother (Zack). I am not sure, but if she is like her mother and Aunt Tina, she will have the gardening gene and crafty gene as well. Though the crafty part will come from her mother, who is a creative crafter and excellent seamstress.
The next picture is of Nina's granddaughter in Georgia. Her name is Sarah. Her mother (Nina's daughter) got the gardening gene. Both she and Sarah help Nina help in the garden frequently. Nina lives and gardens in Erin, just south of Clarksville. Sarah and her mother will be visiting soon. During the visit Sarah will help 'plant' some yucca tulips on her grandmother's yuccas. I will do a post on the yucca tulips very soon and will feature Sarah again.
The very last picture is of our Skeeter, aka Roxanne. Actually, Skeeter is Roxanne's beloved orange cat in her arms. Most of us realize our pets are part of our families, Roxanne's pets are her 'children', and this post wouldn't be complete without including her along with all the other children and grandchildren of commenters on this blog. Roxanne uses her cat's name as her screen name and is also a Pet People blogger. Now all of you know where the name Skeeter comes from! Isn't he beautiful? That flowering tree next to them as well.
I hope you all have enjoyed my post on grandparents, children and gardening. I especially hope my regular commenters and their families (including all the children pictured) enjoy this post-as it is solely for them and their families!
in the garden....thinking about families.