Although there have been a few showers this past week, I hope that everyone is enjoying the blossoms that they are bringing.
With this greenery, memories of two adamant gardeners in my family come to my mind- my Great Grandfather and Uncle Bob. They were passionate gardeners and I imagine they are planning their seasonal vegetable garden above now. In their home there was a garden of flowers and vegetables that was always healthy and thriving. The stories in this post of my Great Grandpa are from my Mom and the ones of Uncle Bob are from my own observations. Looking back I feel very blessed to have observed him in this light and wish I could say the same for Great Grandpa.
There is nothing quite like watching someone immersed in their passion.
Eddie and Lucy taking care of their vegetable garden.
As April draws to a close the past week’s showers are making way for May flowers. Each day as I take my daily walks I observe more and more flowers budding and the cherry trees blossoming with white and pink flowers. It’s a nice break in the day and like every season I keep reminding myself to explore the other parks in the area before the season changes. As a child, I recall my parents making plans each year for the yard. It was a combination of planting new flowers, laying out mulch, and setting a plot for the annual tomato garden. My parents were consistent with these tasks although my Mom would say her Grandfather was the ultimate gardener. Based on the stories my Mom told me I saw her Grandfather’s passion of gardening through his son, my Uncle Bob.
Both my Great Grandfather and Uncle Bob were well known for their gardening skills. I never got to meet my Great Grandfather however between pictures and stories I have a good idea of the man he was and is. He is always with a smile in pictures and appears happy to be with those around him. My Mom loved her Grandfather and said she and the other grandchildren could do no wrong in his eyes. In addition she would often talk of his garden. Blessed with a true green thumb he could grow anything. I once recall a relative telling me there was a rose bush Great Grandpa planted in her yard that always bloomed without fail. When I heard this story, this rose bush was over 20 years old. I imagine it still blooms now. After the passing of my great grandparents, my uncle and aunt continued to live in the same home with this beloved family garden. I always remember this garden as being one of Uncle Bob’s havens. It was a small yard but a very tidy one. Uncle Bob had a vegetable garden, fruit trees, and several rose bushes. There were some occasions where we visited spontaneously and I had the opportunity to observe him taking care of his garden. Uncle Bob was character. His garden as well as his pets were very important to him and he tended to each with great care. His love shined through as everything in that yard was always green and healthy. Unfortunately, I can’t quite recall what he grew although I am positive the array included tomato vines. This is an essential to any Italian garden. Also, my Auntie Dot would never dream of making tomato preserves/ sauce with anything but fresh tomatoes. I mentioned before that Uncle was a character and I will add now that he was also a smart man. He knew well a “happy wife is a happy life”.
Although I am not a gardener, my heart leaps whenever I hear a story of an Italian garden. My mind immediately pictures my Uncle and Great Grandfather puttering around their garden. Tying the vines to stakes, watering their plants daily, and checking the rows daily for that prime moment to pick a ripe vegetable. Once picked there is always the next step of handing it over to the lady of the house to be preserved or added to the evening dinner. It is a beautiful cycle and a memory that I will always cherish.
Kristina Lucia xoxo