Friday, July 18, 2008

Welcome to My Mom and Dad's Garden!

They've both become quite the avid gardeners these past 30 years or so!
And they've inspired me greatly! :-)
A couple of years ago (or maybe 3 or 4 years ago), they downsized. They moved into a lovely "duplex-style" condo. Instead of riding his lawn mower for 4 - 5 hours, Dad doesn't have to mow at all! This frees his time for other important things! :-)

Instead of maintaining huge flower beds (and a large vegetable bed) all over the place, they pretty much decided a nice rectangle in the backyard was enough. But, you can't take the farm out of the farmer! Every year, the bed is enlarged just a smidgeon. One year, a trellis was added to one side. There's talk, now, of adding another trellis on the other side. (Sounds great to me!)

Last weekend everything was looking better than lovely. Beginning with the view from the deck, this is what we saw. Who wouldn't like a green, healthy cornfield "out back?" ;-)
The asparagus bed is so healthy back there,
it had to be restrained!
These are views from the front.There are also peonies and rhubarb in the "way back."Here are some close-ups. :-)

Did I tell you my dad turned 87 last week? My mom is younger. I don't think I'm supposed to mention her age... nor that of my Aunt MEA (her sister) who's just a bit older than my dad. ;-)

So, I have hopes to be gardening for a good while, yet! :-)


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

They have a great bed going back there! And yay on the cornfield behind it! How do the manage to keep it so weed free? They must be out there every day getting them ... I feel ashamed we have to do these mega marathon weeding sessions.

Looks like they have a wonderful assortment of plants, only missing (as far as I can tell) is a perennial hibiscus! LOL ... really, if there's a Hibiscus moscheutos lobby out there, they should be sending me checks in the mail!

Gail said...


What a beautiful garden. It's exactly like the gardens of family and friends when I was growing up. Beautiful vegetables and garden flowers all in one! Makes a lovely garden scene and maintenance is easier!

I have a distant memory of helping a friend move to Topeka from Missouri (grad school days) and we dug up her vegetable garden and packed it in the u-haul and replanted it in it's new home across the street from a field of waving wheat. Her garden looked like your parent's garden!

IVG, did you know that our favorite southern vegetable ocra is a member of the malva family? Abelmoschus esculentus is it's name!

Do you live nearby?


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Gail,
Yes I did know Okra was a mallow, but given my experiences trying it when I lived in the south, I still can't see the appeal, even fried! No thanks! Did you know cotton is also a mallow? That one really surprised me...

I'm not sure, but I think (and Shady can confirm) Shady is probably an hour to an hour and a half SE of us, not worlds away but still a jaunt, especially w/today's gas prices! At least we have the Vibe (much more fuel efficient than the truck we had before), so it's not out of the question at some point....

Shady, you got that new Monarda in the ground yet? If you decide you still need more, you know where you can get some free pots of it, lol.

Unknown said...

Wow, your parents' garden is really an inspiration! I love love LOVE generous farm gardens. :)

Robin Ripley said...

What a fabulous garden! I am impressed at the garden's and your folks' vigor.

Like Gail, this garden reminds me of the gardens I saw growing up. It seems many more people had gardens then. But perhaps that was just the people we knew.

Gardening Examiner

Anonymous said...

Oh, it is just so beautiful. Gives me hope to garden for a long while yet myself.~~Dee

Shady Gardener said...

IVG, My parents are diligent. Mom deadheads early every morning. If there's a weed in sight, she gets it! :-) I, on the other hand, always have weeds to attend to. When I have the time, I deadhead and weed my way around. I'd love to see more of your hibiscus!

My monarda is happily standing out in one of the raised beds. How's your Kopper King? Mine had been pretty badly chomped until I defended it the other day. The top set of leaves are almost completely perfect. :-)

And yes, you're welcome to hop on down here sometime. However, gardens are always "in the works," don't you think? An hour and a half or so is a good extimate!

Gail, Thanks for you nice long comment! I shouldn't have limited my parents' gardening to 30 years... let's say 60! :-) It's just that they've done so many more "fun" (flower) gardens these past 30 years! I did NOT know okra was a malva. Amazing!

My parents live about 4 hours' or so drive (interstate driving) north of us.

BSG, I know my parents will enjoy reading your comment. :-)

Robin, I believe there's a resurgence in vegetable gardens, don't you? And there MUST be something beautiful out there, too. :-)

Dee, I'm glad you could visit. :-)

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Shady,
Glad your monarda is in and happy, you might just get some blooms late summer yet if your cards are all in order!

My Kopper King looked fine the other night when I rescued it and Blue River from the bindweed. It's starting to put on buds, but wow, Blue River is going to be loaded with flowers again, as usual!

Shady Gardener said...

I hope you post a photo of both in bloom! :-)

Connie said...

Nice looking garden....guess the gardening gene has been passed down to you? :-)

Shady Gardener said...

Connie, I think so! :-) Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shady,

The first word that popped into my head was WOW! and very quickly after that, what an awesome garden! That first picture and the first paragraph were a little shady. I thought you were heading in a container garden direction. My son would call you a sneekaroo.

Your parents have done an excellent job. Must be all that practice they've had. My mom is missing her veggie garden. I'll have to make sure she sees this post. It will give her ideas I'm sure.


troutbirder said...

I also got my love of gardening from my parents. Especially enjoyed your "spring slike show." Thanks

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Cathy, Yes they've had a lot of practice. They raised 5 children on fresh veggies. ;-) Thanks for visiting!

troutbirder, I believe it's the early exposure plus the respect and love for the gardeners. :-) Thanks.

Catherine said...

That is some's beautiful, and you captured it beautifully! You're parent's garden ~an inspiration indeed!!

Shady Gardener said...

Thank you, Cat! I'm sure my parents are enjoying their reading of all these comments. :-)

IBOY said...

Shady... what is the pink flower in the rain barrel??

Brenda Jean Hyde said...

Oh my gosh, they are my heroes! I want a garden like that when I am their age. How wonderful!! Thank you so much for sharing. Now I feel like I have many, many more years of gardening in me, even though I'm 48:)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

That's a great size for older folks to take care of & they have a great selection packed in there. It's terrific that your parents take such good care of it themselves. I'm convinced gardening helps keep people young. My power to them!

Shady Gardener said...

Don, Mom calls them "Rain Lilies." They are also called "Fairy Lilies."
(Family: Amaryllidaceae, Genus: Zephyranthes, Species: grandiflora.) They thrive in a well-drained, not terribly deep, container. They are taken indoors and left to themselves in the basement during the winter. Bring them outdoors and they revive during the Spring rains. :-)

Brenda Jean, yep. Lots more years of gardening! (Me, too... and I'm a bunch older than you!)

MMD, I agree that it's a great size and that they do keep it in great shape. They're in great shape, themselves. Gardening is some of the best exercise... talk about aerobic! ;-)

Andrea Dellit said...


i love their lillies! it's come along well since they moved in!

Shady Gardener said...

Hi there Dellits! Good to see you! Doesn't their garden look great? I hope they're reading all these comments. :-)