Creativity, organically grown
Be pleased to enter by the garden’s gate.
Let’s tour my parents’ garden, shall we?
I somehow failed to inherit the gardening gene but admire a good gardener’s work (and enthusiastically consume my Beloved’s garden harvest). My contribution to Mom and Dad’s garden, a sprawling patch of greenery in Ottertail County, Minnesota, is to nominate it to the Star Tribune to appear in the Home + Garden section. Here are some excerpts from my nomination.
Pretty vegetables, all in a row.
This garden has everything! Standard stuff like beans, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumber, zucchini and more asparagus than they can eat? Sure. Herbs? Check. Fruit? Dad likes keeping track of the number of apples he harvests every year from his apple trees, and there’s rhubarb and raspberries, too. Flowers? More perennial varieties than I can name (check out the clematis and daisies here). Morning glories climb the Martin house tower in the middle. And the deer are unfortunate fans, too, which is why Dad erected a decorative and functional six-foot fence this year.
Who tends it: Dad tills, makes tomato cages and does the heavy lifting. Mom plants and weeds. When Mother Nature doesn’t water it, Dad does. They both harvest and share their bounty; my nephews can’t wait to help dig potatoes, pull carrots and pick apples.
Tomatillos in the foreground, tomatoes in the background.
What makes it special: Though she lives in Zone 3, my mother gardens like she cooks: Experimentally. “Every year, I try to plant something I’ve never tried before.” It’s the tomatillos this year; last year it was the edamame, successful enough to plant again this year. She grows romaine lettuce, even though it’s more appropriate for Zone 4. One year, she transplanted some ornamental grasses from my yard in northern Illinois; only one variety survived. The carrot seeds this year were duds, so Mom planted more this week, hoping to harvest something before frost. She’s a “never say never” gardener.
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