Our dad, Charlie, was a gardener extraordinaire - and he passed that love of gardening on to the three of us, his children. His flowers were a sight to behold and his vegetable gardens lush and weedfree providing food for the family all the years we were growing up. He planted everything - Chinese cabbage, Swiss chard, eggplant, all the standard crops, peanuts (they grow underground like potatoes), all the beans, celery cabbage, and I am sure I am forgetting a lot of other things that grew in his gorgeous garden. Above are my Dad and I looking over his roses back in probably sometime in the 1960's.
Flowers! Spectacular colorful mounds of blossoms, roses that were taken care of in the manner that made them thrive regardless of the weather and insects that might attack them, and glads that were planted by the dozens at intervals so there were flowers for a long period of time. Those were planted in rows in the garden and cut and enjoyed as bouquets. Mom always said she didn't need any flowers when she died - she had so many beautiful ones while she was living.
Sometime after Ray and I moved to Iowa, Mom and Dad eventually moved to this little house set back off the highway between Rome and Chillicothe. People on the highway could see the colorful garden as they were driving through. These pictures would have been taken in the autumn when the mums were in their full glory. They were another of Dad's favorites.
Here is another view - this shows the mums in front and behind them are the beautiful roses. Is this not just as beautiful as a garden can be? Bud, Jo and I all caught the gardening bug but I think none of us succeeded quite as well as our father. I do know that I have always felt there is nothing that gives any more contentment and joy as working in the garden. I have spent countless hours planting and caring for flowers and still love doing the little containers that I do now. The little verse at the beginning of this post rings so true for me. (Click to enlarge)