It's a dozen years since my dad died but he was with me in imagination as I mowed and wandered around the garden today. He loved our Illinois garden and if he were here he'd recognize these first 10" blooms as the Blue River II Hibiscus. Dad would know the Citrina daylily. A neighbor shared it with me in 1978 and it's bloomed in four of our gardens. Dad disliked purple clothes but liked purple flowers so this basket of Calibrachoa might get a nod of approval. Even if the visit is imaginary I'd better do something about the tree saplings sprouting in every shrub and flower bed. That was one of Dad's pet peeves. Get that pecan out of the hydrangea! There'd be no excuse for not weeding once Dad saw the Cobrahead tool Anneliese sent me for winning a contest on the Cobrahead blog. And he he might be amused that the winning plant ID was Horseradish, something he grew near his picnic table. If we were lucky we could catch a glimpse of the small Praying Mantis hanging upside down on the Meyer's Lemon. We could taste the first 'Carmello' tomato - a new one this year. Under bird netting some 'Early Girl' tomatoes are coming along and so are a cluster of 'Costoluto Genovese'. With so few tomatoes we'd have to use canned tomatoes for spaghetti sauce. In my mind I hear him say, "getting a little heavy handed with the oregano, aren't you, missy?" He'd be okay with lots of basil, I think...not being Italian never stopped my dad from cooking old-time Chicago Italian dishes - pounding round steak thin, rolling, filling and tying it to make Brachiole in red sauce. With maybe some zucchini sliced, dipped & fried in olive oil on the side.
I can't even imagine what kind of conversation we could have about the non-garden world - my father was a pipefitter at a Fisher Body plant, the division of GM that made car bodies. Every news broadcast this week has made me wonder how my parents would have felt about the whole thing.
What would he think about part of his family living in Texas?Dad learned to hate Texas weather when stationed here on manouvers prior to shipping out for 3 years in New Guinea during World War II.
Forty years later he learned to dislike Texas highways and their primitive rest stops when he & Mom drove IH35 all the way through Texas to San Antonio one hot September. But like most guys - once he got to the reunion of old army buddies, he had a great time.
Miss you, dad!
2016-FEBRUARY MATTIE’S GARDEN DAY
3 weeks ago