'Annabelle' Hydrangea

'Annabelle' Hydrangea

Monday, February 22, 2010

Meet Jaye

(Photo) Sipping Honeysuckle is a popular pastime for many Southern children. (Photo Credit=Will Cook)


I had lunch on Friday with a friend who informed me that she had been teased that she should start a blog about dating after 40. The stories she told me were comical and intriguing. I wonder if she will actually do it though?

Blogging is an enigma to me. I don't really understand how it's done, but I do believe that one must have a passion about what they are blogging about...and I have a passion.

I can truthfully say that I have been gardening for most of my life. My mother remembers the first time I set out into the grass as a baby. She said that I immediately started to pick flowers, bees, ants, spiders, and other creatures that were unfortunate enough to cross the sweep of my tiny hands.

I do remember a fascination with clover and honeysuckle. They both have nectar in them that you can eat. How wonderful! The purple clover had better nectar, or juice as I told it to my cousins, than the white. Honeysuckle on the other hand didn't matter...Both the yellow and white blossoms were equally good. I later learned from a botany class that wasn't true. One flower was older than the other, so the nectar couldn't be the same.

Nonetheless, I knew from an early age that I enjoyed being outside in my grandparent's vegetable garden. I learned about insects, how to pick up snakes, how to nurture a living creature so it would grow strong and be fruitful...And I learned that there were things that I could do for myself that others couldn't. There were no boundaries or rules from the adults outside which made being in the yard so magical.

Living with my grandparents in a neighborhood without any children my age left me at a disadvantage. I was an only child and my only playmates were my grandfather and my dogs.

I didn't fit in well with other children.

The only place that I did fit in was in the garden.

My grandparents had a fairly large garden each summer and raised the same vegetables each year. I remember my grandfather would dry the largest and best produce each season to get seeds for next year. He NEVER purchased seed. Tomatoes, corn, okra, squash, beans, and salad greens were all left to either dry on the plants, in the sun on special screens, or in the case of the greens, left to bolt for seed. As a child, I didn't understand what was going on. I just knew that grandaddy would put the seed up in jars in the cupboard.