Skip to content

Gardening–A Summer Delight

August 11, 2022

Gardening—A Summer Delight

By Alice Jane-Marie Massa

                When I was growing up in my small rural community of Blanford, Indiana, every house had a garden; and from early spring until late autumn, gardening was a major topic of discussion.  I come from a long line of gardeners.  The bountiful gardens I recall were picture-perfect—no weeds, no unwanted bugs.  Besides the plentiful vegetable gardens, flower gardening brought extra touches of beauty to our rural community’s landscape.

                Although my container gardens are much smaller than the gardens of my ancestors, I get a lot of mileage from talking about my gardens, one located on my front porch and the other displayed behind my townhouse.  People often tell me that I have a green thumb.  Then, I wonder:  “Only one green thumb?  I thought I had at least two green thumbs.”  Perhaps, I am just a lucky gardener who finds gardening easy, but immensely relaxing and satisfying.

                Each year, I try to plant something new in at least one container.  Last summer, following the tradition of my maternal grandmother, I planted zinnia seeds for the first time.  Just like the year when I grew parsley, I discovered that I was allergic to zinnias.  This year, following the tradition of my mother’s growing marigolds, I planted one large and one smaller container of marigold seeds on June 15; within five days, in the midst of one of our heat waves of this summer, my marigolds sprouted.  News flash from the garden!  Finally, on August 1, I felt a bud midst the lush foliage; alas, on August 3, the first little marigold blossomed after an overnight rainstorm.  Now, my marigolds have a wealth of buds.  However, these marigolds seem to be a different variety from the ones my mother planted. 

Since I have discovered that I enjoy planting from seeds, I think future gardens will involve more seeds and less transplants.  At the grocery store of my grandmother and Uncle Pete, when I was a child, numerous packets of seeds were arranged in a two-decked display.  My cousin Carole and I used to play a pretend game of selling seeds.  From the colorful pictures and names on the packets, I learned a variety of flowers and vegetables, some of which were never grown by anyone whom I knew.

Never  on one of those seed packets was the herbaceous perennial Lamb’s Ear, which became another new addition to my 2022 garden—thanks to my friends Sue and John.  This herb, indeed, added a new touch to my garden because Lamb’s Ear has thick, fuzzy, and especially soft foliage which is silvery (silvery green) in color.

The typical other herbs in my garden are two containers of basil, two of rosemary, one sage, one spearmint, and two containers of lavender.  For several years, I have kept the tradition of purchasing lavender plants around Mother’s Day; thus, the lavender plants are the harbingers of my gardening season.  Now the lavender plants have grown so large that I should really have them in an even bigger container—a plan for my 2023 garden. 

Besides the fragrant herbs, my garden spotlights pink, white, and coral geraniums—six in all.  I must say that I greatly enjoy playing “Musical Chairs” with all of my containers, statue of my “Garden-ian Angel,” statue of Saint Francis of Assisi, and lawn furniture (including three café tables).  Yes, I really like to arrange and re-arrange my container gardens as the flowers and herbs grow and change and as the weather changes.  Of course, I also am quite pleased to give garden tours in person or via Facetime. 

Rosemary is for remembrance; and while I am gardening, I often lovingly remember my relatives who were outstanding gardeners.

Happy gardening!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

August 10, 2022, Wednesday


From → Uncategorized

  1. l love the image of your musical chairs in your container garden. It sounds delightful, with all the fragrances of blooming marigolds and herbs. Gardening in my neighborhood as a child was something just about everyone did – and the best yard of all was the Hoffmann’s home. Their back yard had a deep concrete fish pond with waterlilies. I visited it often. In winter, the fish were brought inside and put into a large tank in their living room. Of course, I visited them often year round, just to see the fish and be with them.

    • Hello, Lynda–Many thanks for sharing your memory of the water lilies
      you enjoyed during summers of your youth.  I always enjoy hearing about
      your own massive effort for your gardens.

      Take good care–Alice and Willow

  2. Susan McKendry permalink

    So nice to read about your garden! I can’t imagine summer without a garden. And I’m sure you do have two green thumbs based on previous summer visits to your townhouse. Always fun to play in the dirt!

    • Special thanks, Sue!  How nice to have a friend who has been a master
      gardener!  Enjoy the fruits and veggies of your labor!

      Take good care–Alice and Willow

  3. joanmyles permalink

    Such a sweet picture, you delighting in your herbs and flowers, St. Francis and your angel smiling approvingly nearby. All the sweet sights and scents, the love and devotion you both plant and harvest! Thank you, Alice!!

  4. mfanyo permalink

    Summer delight, indeed! Thank you for the tour of your lovely container garden, Alice! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the healthy and productive plants in your garden this morning! Such a lovely clear blue sky in downtown Milwaukee! Enjoy! Love to you and Willow, Mary

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Hi Alice and Willow,
    As you note, one of the delights of summer is a garden, flower or vegetable! Italians seem to have a special talent for creating those delightful spaces.

    One of memories of Universal School is having a box of seeds to sell in the community as a fundraiser. It seems there were twenty packets to sell at five or ten cents each. The profit margin must have been small but at least it was a useful product for our rural community. I’m wondering if Jacksonville School had a similar project?

    I hope you and Willow are well. Will be in touch soon.


    • Hello, Fran–How good to hear from you!  Many thanks for your
      interesting comment on this gardening blog post!  To my recollection,
      while I was a student at Jacksonville Grade School, we did not sell
      packets of seed; however, I think those seed packets would have sold
      better than Girl Scout cookies during the 1950s and early 1960s.

      Take care, and enjoy the remainder of the summer–Alice and Willow

      • I enjoyed reading this so much. I need to start doing some thing like this very soon. our backyard is tiny but we’ll figure something out 🙂
        Hope to connect with you again soon at one of the writers workshop.
        Sincerely, Rebeca

  6. Loretta Flom permalink

    Hello Alice Jane-Marie. I enjoyed reading about your flourishing garden and even more so enjoyed “The Christmas Carriage”, given to me by your sister, Mary! thank you for the inspiration! Stay well and happy with willow by your side.
    Loretta Flom

    • Good Evening, Loretta–Many thanks for not only reading my WORDWALK blog, but also for sending such a nice comment! How kind of you to also mention my book THE CHRISTMAS CARRIAGE! I am glad that my sister has shared my book with some of her friends.
      Take good care–Alice and Leader Dog Willow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: