Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Dedication to Mom

Maybe some of the fellow gardeners who follow my blog have been wondering where I have been. As the previous message told you I was visiting family.

Since my return sadness has visited me as my Mom passed away two weeks ago. She was the first gardener I knew in my life. For 63 years she lived in the North End of Winnipeg where all yards had large gardens, and hers was no exception. Although she was born in Winnipeg, this area was largely composed of immigrants and of course they brought their gardening knowledge and traits of sustaining themselves with them. Mom's garden flourished with tomatoes, peas, yellow and green beans, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, rhubarb, garlic, green onion and annually was seasoned with self- seeded dill. Being Ukrainian flowers abounded. Sprinkled from saved seed zinnias and marigolds coloured the summer. Batchelor buttons, bells of Ireland and poppies annually scattered their colour with only the aid of the wind. Along her house one always found snapdragons to play with by opening and closing their 'mouths'.

She moved into an apartment two years ago and I planted two containers for her on her balcony....one with flowers dominated by red ones, her favourite colour and the other planted with green onions. Guess which one she favoured? She loved her green onion sandwiches. Maybe we can all learn from this, she died 3 days after she turned 93 and very good her entire path. She will always be missed and loved.

Chihuly in Phoenix Arizona

A month ago I returned from a vacation to Scottsdale, AZ where my son, daughter in law and grandson live. Always a wonderful time! This is like a second home to us now as we visit them twice a year. They are building a house and I have been helping them with their landscape plan. Wow! what a change for my plant knowledge from my Zone 3 garden. Love exercising the brain! We all came away with an extreme amount of knowledge. Have you ever seen an Ironwood tree, a native to the Sonoran desert? Unbelievable thorns covering all parts of it and to think that it was recommended for the yard with a toddler. Not to mention this said gardener who helps them with the gardening while I am visiting. Bougainvillea thorns are nothing compared to this tree.

To see some of these native desert plants we toured the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix....my second visit to it. But this time we were treated to 'Chihuly: The Nature of Glass'. Dale Chihuly is a glass artist and very influential within the Studio Glass movement. He is continually revolutionizing the art of handblown glass. A spectacular exhibit! Don't miss it if you are in the area.