Story Weekend: Gardening










Welcome to another Story Weekend! Quite honestly, this week’s theme is not my cup of tea, but that’s okay. I still have a story about it, and I bet you do, too.  

Are you new to Story Weekend? This is your time on my blog. Here’s how it works: I pick a theme and you share something from your life that relates to that theme. Thanks to all of you who’ve been contributing. I’ve loved reading your (very short!) stories. As always, there are a few “rules”:

  • The story must be true.
  • Try to keep it under 100 words. That’s about six or seven lines in the comment form. I want others to read your story, and most people tend to skip if it’s too long. I know how tough it is to “write tight” but I hope you’ll accept this as a challenge.
  • Avoid offensive language.

Have fun, and as usual, I’ll kick it off with my own comment.



  1. Diane Chamberlain on August 5, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    I inherited my mother’s black thumb. Mom–and I’m not making this up–planted plastic flowers in our yard. I loved bringing a new friend home in the middle of winter only to see pink tulip heads popping up through the snow near the front door. I wish I could say Mom did it as a joke, but I think she’d just given up on growing things and decided plastic was the only way to get color in the yard. I have a sprig of plastic flowers in my own garden in her honor. They’re the only things that never die. I get it, Mom.

  2. Julie Farque on August 5, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    From the time I was about 4 or 5 I can remember playing in the dirt while my dad was gardening. I decided to start a garden this year because 2 years ago my dad gave up gardening because he became ill and can no longer physically take care of a garden. I have always loved his home grown veggies. I am now enjoying calling him up and asking for his advice on gardening stuff. I think he loves the phone calls as well.

    • Cindy Mathes on August 5, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      Julie, I remember the first year my dad ever gardened was in 1968. The year we moved to Oklahoma and we had a huge yard. I know that he loved taking care of it. Or should I say WE I was only 11 that year. From that year on, I can’t remember him NOT having a garden. Some of them were larger, and some were very small.But he grew something in the ground. Pepper plants, tomatoes,onions,squash, cucumbers and okra. Even when he got very ill, before he died, He had a garden… 😉

  3. Cindy Mathes on August 5, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I could write about an array of gardening stories over my 53 years of life. However, with a little frustration, I am writing about this year. Our heat wave has taken such a toll on anything green or with color. My two rose bushes given to me by my two daughters, began the growing season with hope and promise. Each one with new growth and a multitude of buds. The first round of blooms were beautiful. As the heat continues, even with watering, the buds are pitiful. The weather gets more depressing, the roses are drying up while they are still tight in the bud. These are easier to talk about than the Hydrangeas. The beautiful lilac colored balls of blooms are now brown. The green leaves have been burned to brown and browner. Crunchy and brown like the grass that is not growing in our yards.

    • Cindy Mathes on August 5, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      Sorry it is too long..but it is hard to describe this stupid heat wave in a hundred words..hmph

  4. Arlene Hougland on August 6, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Every summer was spent with my aunt Esther. She had a garden that was at least a half of a city block. My favorite activity was to pick the green peas, with the plump jackets and pop the peas right into my mouth. The succulent watermelons were as big as bowling balls. Every vegetable and fruit laid out in neat rows. My brother and I were given the task of removing the weeds. It is hard to believe that a garden that big could grow in the city. I can still taste those sweet, crunchy peas.

  5. Sheree Gillcrist on August 6, 2011 at 6:47 am

    House plants and I have a death wish relationship except for one I named Farcus. Farcus and I had an understanding that water or not,it was his job to reach for the sky and he did for many year unaided by me. However I had a large organic vegetable market garden for years which was like Crockett’s victory garden( remember that). Anyway one Sunday morning this city girl who moved to the country to raise her kids, rose late and rushed out the door to take my kids to Sunday School with no make up on( I wore it to walk to the mailbox at the end of the driveway, old habit} and dirty hair with a do rag on it. Kids deposited with God and me on the beach collecting kelp for my compost pile. Alone in the fog I was happy until I saw a film crew seemingly from Univeristy of Arizona who wanted to film me for a research project they were doing. They did on the proviso that they film me from the back sitting looking out to sea. I thought it might make me look wind swept and interesting.Ah vanity is a fault of

  6. Martha on August 6, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Growing up, the only thing I disliked more than gardening was washing supper dishes. During the spring and summer months, I would get up from the table, head outside, and start pushing the old lawnmower, yes, the old-timey push ones that wouldn’t clip a weed unless you pushed over it a dozen times from a dozen different directions. I would cut the grass and then use the sling blade on the weeds. Mother washed dishes. Later, as a wife/mother, the only thing I disliked more was cooking. Unfortunately, I was stuck with that chore. And I wouldn’t dream of letting my child use a power mower, much less a sling blade.

  7. Kelly on August 6, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    My grandmother was an incredible gardener as was my mom. My garden tells the story of them and others. Esther Reid Shasta Daisy’s (used in wedding bouquets), tulips and crocuses, bridal wreath spirea’s – all favorites of my grandmother. False Forget me nots brought from my aunt’s garden before she died, lily of the valley to remind me of my other grandmother, columbine from an old girlfriend, hardy geranium’s from my quilting girlfriend. My white rose I have shared with everyone, a walking stick from my sister and mom, and daylilies I have transfered from 3 houses. I yearn for my big garden back but alas I now look at other’s and my 5 containers on my deck. however I have memories!

  8. Linda Sullivan on August 6, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Unfortunately, I cannot write this story about myself but I must tell you my mother had an amazing green thumb. I swear to you she could bring plants back from the dead!! She loved to garden and raised many plants inside and out while we were kids and even as we are adults now. Unfortunately I do not carry this same trait. I cannot keep plants alive, sad to say. I either forget to water them or they just die on me regardless. I don’t have any plants inside the house, figure why waste my money though I absolutely LOVE greenery and flowers. I have roses out front … I swear my mother is watching over them from the heavens. I never water them and when we moved into this house (for three years it sat empty) I had a garden full of pink roses! My very favorite flower. I know you are watching over them MOM. I miss you and LOVE you for it too. I am so happy to see them each time I walk outside my front door as they never let me forget about my mom … RIP MOM RIP!! <3

  9. Nancy on August 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    When I was first married in the 70’s they had house plant parties, similar to Tupperware parties where they would bring over plant. I remember my first purchase it was called bridal veil my success with this hanging plant was not very good and sadly died, but I continued to buy more plants and learned about their care and needs. Plants always had a way to cheer up my dreary one bedroom furnished apartment. Presently I own a home which I purchased 8 years ago and everything on it with the exception of an apple and fig tree I have planted sometimes I was not successful but I continued to learn. Today home and yard are filled with beautiful reminders of my love for gardening and the peace and satisfaction I have received form creating this haven for myself.

  10. Carol R on August 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Newly retired, and with the long drought finally over, I decided this was the year for home grown veggies. Questionable decision. Here in Oregon’s high desert winter held on so long I couldn’t plant until June. Now in August the peas are finally starting to plump. We are enjoying a very cool summer but that is not the weather for corn, tomatoes, and melon. If we don’t get snow in September all may still be well for those heat loving plants. But, hey, I’m enjoying fresh lettuce in August! This is a strange year for an area known for the unpredictable weather.

  11. Linda on August 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I will have no problem keeping this to 100 words or less because when it comes to gardening, or ANYTHING outside, count me OUT!!! I grew up in Miami where an ordinary yard is a virtual paradise of beautiful plants and delicious fruits, and my job was to keep the weeds away. In my much later life, I figured out that if you have no “gardens” or have no “areas of flowers” you have NO WEEDS! So give me a gravel yard with a few cactuses sticking out and make my day! LOL!

  12. Diane Chamberlain on August 7, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Linda, you’re a woman after my own heart!

  13. Carol on August 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Gardening – well, of sorts….Grandma Francie (Mom’s mom) had a cherry tree in her backyard. One year we picked cherries which were shared with everyone including Grandma Helen (Dad’s Mom). That fall Grandma Helen was telling us how she got some cherries out of the freezer to make a pie. She described how she had opened the bags and then said, “Oh, those poor little worms.” She decided we should spray the treet next year and tell Grandma Francie it would help the cherries grow bigger. She did not want us to tell Grandma Francie about the worms.

  14. Wanda on August 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I loved my summers at my grandma’s. She always had a garden and canned her fruits and veggies. I remember helping her weed the garden and picking fresh tomatoes and eating them right away. It was always a peaceful time and never a chore to help in the garden. I was blessed with my grandmother’s green thumb and have planted a garden at different times in my life and now that I have retired I hope to plant one each summer. Gardens to me are a renewal, rebirth, a fresh start, and place to go for reflection and meditation or prayer.

  15. Margo on August 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Omigosh, its hard to beat Diane and Linda’s stories…I’m still laughing out loud…but, I vow to write a story even if its not very exciting…and its not about me because I’m definitely not a gardener…next posting tells my story.

  16. Margo on August 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    That 1st summer of his retirement I watched in awe as he planted and grew the most beautiful flowers I’d ever seen. All summer long I watched as he tended those gorgeous flowers in immense, cobalt blue pots. The 2nd summer his project included building an arbor where more flowers would thrive and by the 3rd summer, he was growing huge sunflowers that attracted hungry goldfinches to their seeds. By summer 4, he was growing roses and bringing me 1 each day. Never a gardener before, retirement brought beauty and life to my Gary…& roses for me (-O:

  17. Sher Laughlin on August 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    In a nod to the backyard victory gardens of my hometown that people tend even up to today, I keep a container garden of vegetables on my back deck. We have often thought that we could remove the deck and simply build steps down to a kitchen garden, but that sounds like SO much work. Pots on wheels, or fewer pots, or more pots come and go as the season expands and contracts. The decision to keep it smaller this year due to the heat simply means we have more unplanted deck space. And in this heat, boy do I appreciate a quick sprint out the patio door to snip a few herbs, snatch a tomato, clip some greens, and then an even quicker retreat back into the air conditioned kitchen.

  18. Diane Chamberlain on August 7, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Thanks, everyone, for sharing your stories and making this another fun Story Weekend. Some of you have inspired me, but when I step outside into the heat, the inspiration disappears! See you next weekend.

  19. Cyndia on August 8, 2011 at 3:19 am

    It had been a hard year. The garden I had spent so many years cultivating was erased in an instant by an unexpected winter tornado. Speechless, tears rolled down my cheeks as I walked the paths; noting the spots where once I had poured out my pain when my husband was diagnosed with cancer, the ones where I sobbed in helplessness when I couldn’t rescue my daughter from an abusive marriage. Where only days before there was lush green, now was laid bare by that hateful storm. Did I have the heart to begin again?

  20. JoAnne McCrone-Ephraim on December 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    In Summer of ’68 I noticed my grandmother had a strange new plant growing on her bathroom windowsill, which grew rather quickly within a few weeks so I became suspicious. When I inquired about it I learned my sister entrusted it to Gramar’s care after graduation when she left to spend the summer working down the shore. After first confirming my suspicious with my little sis, I burst out laughing as I informed my sainted grandmother she was nurturing illegal vegetation. Of course the plant was quickly spirited away however, much to my grandmother’s dismay it was a source of grand humor for years!

  21. Diane Chamberlain on December 7, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Love this, especially as I aided and abetted your little sis!

    • JoAnne McCrone-Ephraim on December 7, 2011 at 11:29 pm

      My pleasure! I teasingly referred to the Zans as double trouble so I suspected as much:)

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