Growing Stuff..

Time for some more story tellin here. I think it would be boring (at least for me) to try and  tell my story in chronological order so I am gonna skip around some. All my life I have had a hankering to grow stuff and several times during my life flow I have been fortunate enough to do just that.  There is just something about watching something grow from practically nothing into something magnificent.

2015-07-06_11-01-05Some of my earliest memories are of Mrs. Forrester’s flower garden on Park Ave. She lived next door to us in a very densely, you might say wrong-side-of-the-tracks area of Indianapolis. The back yards were about 30 foot deep with a garage facing the alley behind the house.  Mrs. Forrester used every square foot of that back yard for her flowers. To me as a five-year old it looked like a jungle. Especially those flower that seemed to grow almost to the clouds!  I later learned that these giants are called Lockspurs and can grow up to eight feet tall but I really don’t think her’s were that big except maybe to a five year old. I remember “helping” her in the garden until I go stung by a bee and that ended my flower gardening adventures for the time being.

When at the age of seven we, like so many others, moved to the suburbs we had our own garden. It was about a 12 x 12 foot patch dedicated to vegetables. We had lettuce, radishes and probably tomatoes but I don’t really remember them and of course green onions.  That garden was Mom and Dad’s garden. I was allowed to pull some weeds but only under their supervision.

It wasn’t until 1961 as a boy of fourteen that I got my own garden.  Dad, my remaining brother and I moved from suburban Indianapolis to a very rural area forty miles southwest. That is where I started my first garden. It was mine as I did most of the planting and maintenance required. My younger brother was just not into the work required to keep a garden growing and dad spend long hours as a milk man and then had an hour commute back to home. We only stayed at the rented farm house for three years so this stage of my gardening experience was somewhat short lived. Dad found another place with lower rent in town behind the gas station.   But for those three years I grew enough veggies to get us through the winter. The primary crop was potatoes, beans and corn as that was about all Dad liked to eat.

GardenIt would not be until 1989 that I again had a garden on that level. That was when me and my freshly minted bride bought our first house. Until then I was always living in apartments and condominiums which limited by gardening to a few potted tomato plants.  I was determined to make this one the epitome of gardens and I think I did a pretty good job of that.  It was a fenced in raised-bed 24 x 48 foot garden. Even though I was spending some pretty serious hours at my job I still managed to keep it up. That gardening experience lasted for six years before my job forced me to move to New Jersey.

Tomato PlantsWhen I retired from the corporate world in 2000 we moved to our current homestead where I once again maintained a large garden  for thirteen years. Now with my back and arthritis problems hoeing and such are just becoming too tiresome and I am now back to container gardening. I am hoping that the four plants in the two large containers are enough to satisfy my wife’s seemingly insatiable appetite for tomatoes. I still have that “growing stuff” fascination even after all these years.

I am That Wise Guy

TWiG 1

4 thoughts on “Growing Stuff..

  1. Tomatoes do just fine in containers. I’ve been growing both cherry and slicers in the half barrel containers for years with good results. In fact, my neighbors had so much trouble with tomato blight when planted in the ground that they decided to try containers too and now have blight-free plants, thanks (I think) to the ability to switch out the top several inches of soil each year and then adding mulch (no splash back). The larger the container the better…the smaller the pot the more watering needed as the plants get big. I also planted a barrel with lettuce and spinach this spring…excellent results! And an added benefit is that the rabbits can’t reach!

    Your former big garden looks like my dream garden….the one I never had. We have a large back yard but too much shade for vegetables. The only good sun is around the deck and that’s where I put the barrels. Besides, my husband likes his lawn and wouldn’t let me dig it up! I did dig a border around 3 sides of the backyard and that’s my flower playground. But, like you I find it a little harder each year to keep up with the all the bending and digging necessary to maintain those borders. After many years of experimenting I’m sticking with the tried and true low maintainence plants that don’t need pampering. Add bird houses, bird baths, and flamingos and we’re all set!

    Keep us posted on your tomatoes. 🙂


    1. Good Morning Jane. Yeah my raised-bed fenced garden was the garden of my dreams also but there is even a more interesting story about making it that I will tell later. I also had a large asparagus bed outside the fences. I see from a recent satellite view of that house that the garden is now back into grass.

      My container tomatoes plants in the containers are doing great but there are not very many tomatoes on them yet. We always get our first fruits the first week or two in August so I am holding out hope that they will yet come. It has been so rainy in my area that I haven’t had to water them at all.

      I guess it goes back to the old saying that you play the cards you are dealt in life. I can’t do the labor for a full sized garden anymore so containers are what I now do. They are beautiful and don’t have the weeds.

      Bird house and bird baths… I add bird feeders… but flamingos?? (ha)


  2. I know….my flamingos are my whimsy. Actually, I have childhood memories of my backyard where my mother had pink flamingos. As I’ve mentioned, she died when I was young so my memories are few. The flamingos are kind of a moment thing I guess. Tacky yes, but fun just the same!


    1. There is nothing wrong with a little whimsy Jane. I call it eccentric and I proudly have my dose of it too. I just finished a three year project of turning my furniture delivery truck into a micro-RV (uRV) and it has many quirky qualities. I will be posting about that soon over at InSearchOfAmerica.


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