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Friday, July 24, 2009

GARDEN PATCH

MY GARDEN PATCH WITH LIL STANDING GUARD

My father was a tomato gardener. Oh, he grew other vegetables but tomatoes were his specialty. Perhaps this is where I developed my interest and taste for tomatoes. He grew a large garden when I was young in which I always got to put down a seed row of some vegetable and call it my own.

COLORFUL COSMOS FLOWERING ABUNDANTLY IN THE GARDEN PATCH

Then as he aged into his sixties and no longer had children at home he reduced his garden in size and only grew tomatoes and green beans. My mother and father canned their tomatoes and green beans into their late sixties.

ONE OF MANY BUTTERFLIES THAT ENJOY THE ZINNIAS IN THE GARDEN PATCH

Then in his seventies he dialed down his plantings even more -- his garden became diminutive where now he only grew tomatoes -- "there's nothing like a freshly picked home grown tomato sprinkled with a little salt," he would always say.

MY PATCH WITH A TANGLE OF GREEN TOMATOES ON THE VINE COOPED UP BY LARGE RECYCLED TOMATO CAGES

I feel I am following in my father's footsteps. At one time I had large gardens but now, as I age, I'm down to a " garden patch." Its about 20X8 and is stuffed with all kinds of vegetables that seem to cover almost the whole little garden.

My "garden patch" is just the right size for me. I threw in starts of organic tomatoes along with herbs such as basil, dill and cilantro. Then as I had so many seeds left over from last year I just sowed them and kept my fingers crossed that they would grow. Some seeds were several years old. Everything sprouted even the flower seeds I threw in at the last mnute for color. Only the bush beans didn't grow well but I believe they did not like the early spring rains and retaliated by producing little. But the rest -- bountiful! Squash, Zinnia, Golden Cosmos, Bachelor Buttons, Herbs, Broom corn, Cucumbers, Sunflowers, Lettuce, Kentucky Climbing Beans, Heavenly Blue Morning Glories and of course TOMATOES. Here's to you Dad!

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