Out in the Garden

I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gardener. This is very unlike my grandfather. When I was growing up, I remember visiting my granddaddy and grandmother at their house in Florence, SC. It was the same house they’d lived in ever since they’d gotten married in 1932. Out back was a huge garden. I’m terrible with guessing the size of something, but I think it was at least a half acre. He grew everything imaginable, and since he was retired, he was meticulous about keeping it weed free. Another thing I remember about him was the fact that he always smoked a pipe. Up to his last weeks, that pipe was always with him.

So what about gardens and me? Maybe instead of the Constant Gardener I’m the Careless Gardener. I plant the seeds. Wait a few weeks for them to sprout. Then occasionally toss on some fertilizer and water if it doesn’t rain every third day. And wait. The seeds sprout, but so do the weeds. So then I wind up spending all day weeding. But now, maybe, I’m being a little more careful. I’m checking the garden and at least getting out there every other week. And I’ve began putting down grass clippings.

One day, as I was checking the garden, I was leaning over the fence and looking at the tomato plants. It was moist since it’d just rained the day before. I thought I caught a whiff of something I hadn’t smelled in a long, long time, since 1995. It was the faint scent of my granddaddy’s pipe. I sniffed again. It was gone. But I had to smile. It was almost like Granddaddy was standing near me as if to say, “It’s doing okay. You’re doing a great job.” So maybe I’m doing something right. Maybe, one day soon, my garden will produce even a fraction of what his produced. But it doesn’t matter. What did matter was the good memories that one whiff brought.

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1 Comment

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  1. kath says:

    Aww, that’s a sweet story 🙂