Friday, February 29, 2008

Grandparents, and Gardening With Children

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.


  1. What a cute post --it's nice to put a face with the names. Looks like another rainy day today --it's okay as long as it helps my flowers grow:) Have to get the girl off to school, ciao!

  2. That is a cute Posting Tina. What beautiful children! I am not much for babies but adore children with ages such as Anthony, Nicholas, Joshua, Jacob, Nikki and Sarah. They are so full of questions and enjoy learning from those willing to take the time to teach them. I think the finer things in life are Grandparents, Parents and Nature. So much to be explored by little fingers and absorbed by growing minds!

    We were never blessed with a child. We had a plan that did not go according to schedule and then health issues arrived, so no children for us.

    Thank you Tina for including my beloved little Skeeter boy. That picture was snapped of us by the fruit tree of our rental house when we lived in TX so many years ago. Wish I still looked that young and thin! LOL. Skeeter past over the Rainbow Bridge soon after we moved into this house and just before turning 16 years old. He rests in peace under the trees by the patio surrounded by Jasmine and a Nandina bush planted for him. Within 4 months of Skeeter leaving us, Sheba and Cheetah slithered out of the woods into our life. They are no Skeeter (he was perfect) by any means but they helped to heal our broken hearts when he left us.

  3. AWWWW, they are all so very cute. Having company, Christy. She is snowboarding as we speak, hope she sees Olimpia (sp). Zack has a formal, girl and her mom are coming up to take pics, Christy gets to tease him. Nikki is home again, she's better, helping me clean. Later.

  4. Well, Skeeter, pets are kids too. And best yet, they never seem to grow up!

  5. Great post Tina but what a horrible pic of "Papa". But Papa sure has had his share of kiddies on his lap, changed his share of diapers and fed the kiddies a lot, starting when the twins were born in 1981. I was hoping to see the one of Josh and Sarah watering the plants.

    But what cutties all the kiddies are!!! Oh boy the one of those cuties eating the corn is priceless.

    Skeeter is a very pretty kiddie and reminds me of your Muffet Tina.

  6. hey everyone, just wanted to share faces and stories or so.

    anonymous, rain is great! makes the grass and flower grow-yes.

    skeeter, my mother is right, you skeeter is just like my precious kitty muffet. i think you don't look much different now than in the picture.

    dawn with peaches, hope nikki gets to feeling better soon. have fun with chris. liz came last night and teases her brother, so zack can get some too from his older cousin.

    mom, i think this is a good picture of papa OTHER than what looks like a bruise or something over his right eye. i wanted to include grandparents as much as possible and he fits the bill. sarah will have her time on here.

    got my new camera battery special ordered today. wrong battery!!! after one week of this it is getting old!

  7. skeeter, meant to say. had you been blessed with children you would have made a great mom! pets are kids too. and you have two lucky ones!

  8. Tina I don't remember him having a bruise lately but he did'nt have his glasses on so may be a red mark from the glasses or just his bushy eyebrows.

  9. Oh darn, I forgot. I meant to ask you how it went yesterday giving up CJ and Bruiser? Also. how is Baby adjusting to them not being there?

  10. yes, maybe his bushy brows.

    it was fine giving up the pups. i felt really bad because they just knew something was up first thing in the morning. they are going to good homes and will be fine though, so we are glad and ok with it all.

    baby is fine. she is fitting in with the big guys, especially bj. she is very good. i can't let her run around the house without watching her but the crate works for her. she is not too lonely and jimmy is spending bunches of time with her.

    i am going out of town tonight. i am sure i will not have access to online until tomorrow evening. the post tomorrow will be late. it will be a to do list for march. you guys do a good job talking amongst yourselves and i hope you will be fine and not miss me too much. just wanted to let you all know.

  11. The Squirrels are on my poop list today! I went into the yard to check on how the plants popping up faired the 28 degrees we had. I found several long branches broken off the Jasmine! Arggggg I know it was the squirrels because they chase each other around the tree like a Merri-Go-Round a lot. The elephant ears were beginning to pop out and the temps got to them. But they will recover. The butterfly bushes were a bit spotted but they too will recover because I have yet to prune them back. Hopefully that job will be accomplished this weekend with nice temps in the upper 60's called for....

    Have a good Weekend everyone!

  12. Thank you for sharing so much of your personal life. But it gives us a chance to know you even more.
    Papa's lap is special. Always there for a little tyke. I love those lovely curls.
    What a gorgeous little blond headed boy. Makes you just want to hug him.
    Oh, And the girls, Nikki & Sarah---beautiful. Look out boys!!!

    Skeeter looks like a kitty I had once. I also had one that was white as snow but was deaf. We had to put a bell on her collar so we could hear where she was. Then there was Jinx, a black long haired one. He would always lay up across me with his head on my shoulder.

    We had 27º in G'ville. Just south of us by about 30 miles. Not bad today during the day. Breezy but nice.
    Will have to wait to see how much damage the frost did. I figured we had this coming is one reason I haven't been in too big a hurry to plant stuff or to set things out. I also read that Monday COULD be a bad one. Surely spring is close by.

  13. Hi Lola, Dawn with peaches, Skeeter, Jean and Nina --well our rain didn't last all day so we were outside enjoying a beautiful day for a change. Today the little man was back up visiting with the cows in the pasture. He likes the fact that they all "look" at him when he goes up by the fence. There sure is a big old bunch of them and lots of babies. It felt like spring from the rain and the warmer temps today. Really great day! Tina --I hope you enjoy your weekend. I know you'll be outside with the nice weather we are having. You should've put a picture of the Jimster in today --I enjoy seeing his picture on here and so do my kiddos. Then they see somebody they know:) Must check on the boys --tomorrow our furniture is being delivered --can't wait it's only been 8 weeks of waiting, rofl. And, today hubby picked up his mounted deer head --it is going to look great out by the fireplace --it is a pretty one:) Okay, so maybe it isn't pretty to him but to me it is --little man keeps petting it, hahaha. Later!

  14. Glad you had a beautiful day so you & little man could go look at the cows. Reminds me of Young'un looking at the pigs through the fence. Tried to get their noses. Was funny to watch. I had my deer head mounted. 7 pointer--first & last. Afterwards just enjoyed sitting in stand watching all the animals. Was nice--even went in evenings without hubby. I did leave him a note.
    Hope you get your furniture & all is ok.

    Ok, Jean, nina, Skeeter, Dawn with Peaches--you guys gone to bed already?

  15. Im here Lola but not for long. I am tired tonight and going to dreamland before long.

    Have a good night all and talk to tomorrow.

  16. Tina, a very cute posting! And such beautiful children. I do enjoy having my granddaughter visit me, just wish she lived closer. They grow up so fast!

    Skeeter, my oldest daughter never had children either, and she has two beautiful cats that she calls her children!

    I plan to go to the garden center today and browse, need to replace a few foundation planting that were killed off last year.

    Everyone have a great weekend!

  17. Hi Lola, I think it's great you went deer hunting! Awesome --I went while growing up but haven't been since we had the children. Good Morning Nina --you are up early and ready to go --you must have the beautiful weather I am having this morning. The kiddos are up and roaring to get outside so I won't be on here much longer, lol. Morning Jean and Skeeter! :) Hi Tina --hope you're having fun this weekend. Catch you all later. Dawn with Peaches --how did the dance go last night? I'm sure you got some excellent pictures --they grow up so fast --and I must add your little girl is such a cutie!!!

  18. dawn with peachesMarch 1, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    Hi Guys,
    The dance went well last night, I like her parents alot and they want to get together with us during April vacation. His girl is a varsity cheerleader even though she is a freshman and this event was the winter carnival dance. Zack got lots of compliments on "cleaning up" and his hair was actually tame for once. Ha! We got her a corsage and no one knew how to pin it! She had a purple and gold dress and Zack opted to match her with a purple shirt and gold tie. They both had a good time, her mother said she could tell when she called on the cell phone, so did Zack. This is such a hard age and he has been disapointed other times.
    We are getting socked with another snow storm today, snow all day. Gotta end sometime. Hopefully.
    Your sidekick is cutie also. I bet he enjoys walking with you, seeing all the life around. My hubby and I do that in the spring, I'm sure my neighbors (people driving by) think we are nuts looking at the dead dried grass!

  19. Morning guys.
    hope all have a great day. Enjoy the good weather while you have it. I heard that it was possible for another storm for Mon. It's sunny here & the temp is not bad.
    Need to get busy.

  20. Good Morning (whoops it is now afternoon now), well Good Day to you also Lola and everyone else and I do hope all has a good weekend.

    We have snow. Probably have a couple of inches but that is a long way from the 8-12 inches they were calling for. Fairly warm so it is very wet. Good for snowmen and forts, ect. Now it has turned to rain! What do the weather people know anyway? They get paid darn good money to lie to us all the time. :>) We also were to get wind, wind and more wind. We did get some but dead calm now.

  21. holy smokes! 20 comments and when i left i think there were nine! i had only one email message on my email notifying me-all comments were on that one.

    i just want to quickly say hello to all. i had a SUPER time. Karla, (montgomery county extension agent) and i work really WELL together and i had a good time. my first 'presentation' not for a grade! it was fun. i will post about it later and you all will get to see some master gardeners (gardeners just like you and me). couldn't think of a better way to spend time-talking about gardening-'cept maybe writing about it!

  22. Tina,
    I forgot to tell you that Anthony met Paul James at the coliseum in Jacksonville when he was between 2 & 3. We had to watch Paul on TV every Saturday. Anthony was really into the show. Paul gave him a pic of himself & signed it for Anthony. You should have seen that little hand in Paul James' hand & heard him talking to Paul. Unforgettable.
    Thrilled Mema as much as Anthony. lol lol

  23. i want to meet paul james! love the guy. lucky anthony!