Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Tale of Two Gardens-- Gladys' and Grand-Daughter Beth's: By Kathryn Barron

“Let me show you where I am going to change things in my garden.” she said. We walked through her beautiful garden and she told me which plants were going to be thinned out, which ones were going to be moved to different places, as she reached out and plucked out offending weeds.

Every time I visited my Mother in New York, we took the garden tour. I heard these words many times from her. It seems like it was just the other day. . . . . oops, that was when BETH was doing the speaking. When I go to her house to visit, we go on the garden tour.

My Mom, Gladys, carved her garden out of the side of the hill behind and next to her house. She had gardens under the trees next to the road and next to the drive.
Dad had the vegetable garden. He fiercely guarded it from encroaching ground hogs. They both had wonderful gardens. Food for the soul and the stomach.

Mom did not mind the garden snakes, she understood them. She tried to tell me that THEY were more afraid of Me than I was of THEM. Don’t bet on it.

Ma’s garden stretched all the way up the hill and even had rustic wooden benches in it. At the top of the hill, she had her compost heap. Kitchen scraps were carried up there and added to the heap daily. She was ecologically friendly before it was popular.

She had tiers carved into the hill, made out of the stones that were so plentiful in the soil. She made a stone retaining wall behind the house to keep the hill from sliding into the house. Sounds funny, but it was serious. I swear, the hill WAS moving down hill. When she got too sick to do the work it got closer and closer and closer. . . .

Beth, my daughter, has a stone path going to her front porch and winding throughout her garden. Allen helped her out there. When they moved into their house it was horrible. The back yard was mud. No plants. Beth and Allen have transformed it into a lovely place.

The back yard is covered with lush grass (and toys). Beth has planted gardens all around the house. Her gardens would delight my Mother and my Father.

In her front garden, surrounded by flowers, were plum tomatoes. One on one side and another across the path in the middle of more flowers. There is a bench in the middle of one part. In the back some plants are all around a maple tree.

She is always moving something, somewhere. Just like Ma. Last summer, Beth had a plot in the community garden. She just signed up to have the same spot this year. She packed that 20 X 20 foot plot with loads of veggies, and marigolds. There was even a teepee made out of bean vines. She fiercely defended the garden from encroaching pests, like deer and other wildlife. Hum. . . . Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Picture One: In Front of Beth’s house
Picture Two: Beth’s front steps
Picture Three: Nick and Lena, Beth’s house
Picture Four: Beth’s plot at the Community Garden
Picture Five: Beth’s back yard


Pat said...


Great job! I loved reading this.

Such good pictures--wonderful to know that Gladys' green thumb has been passed on to future generations.


BethJune said...

i sure miss grandma and her gardens. Just moved some peonies like hers a week ago, and my bleeding hearts are bloomed. Don't know how hers bloomed so late in the year- I'll cheat and put some of the fern leaf variety in. I found some scarlet runner beans i'll plant this year in honor of them- and to attract the humming birds!

Aunt CB said...

How beautiful!! I feel all the pride that Gladys would have if able to show it! I am sure she is helping Beth from afar! I really am envious because I did not inherit any green thumb But I can enjoy!! Thanks.