As promised, my dad came to our house this weekend to help with several projects, one of which was putting in a raised bed garden. Now I would go into details on how to build one and so on but my dad put the whole thing together in about five minutes that there isn’t much to say! He is amazing! So I will give you the quick and dirty (pun intended!) of how
we my dad built it and then I’ll explain why the garden means so much to me.
We put the garden on the side of our house but behind our garage and laundry room so it would be mostly out of sight. The garden itself is 10′ x 6′. My dad brought the treated lumber and had the boards screwed together in no time at all. He then put some sort of metal stakes around the boards to keep them from bowing or moving. We mowed the grass and sprayed it with RoundUp before the build. Then we hauled a bunch of dirt into the bed and were set for planting.
My dad has put out a garden now for a couple of years and has been growing plants since February or March to put in it. He generously brought us 6 tomato plants and some cucumbers. We then picked up some bell pepper plants, a jalapeno pepper plant, and a parsley plant. We bought seeds for carrots, green beans, peas, snap peas, broccoli, and asparagus (actually these were more bulb-like). Chase planted everything and we were left with this.
Not the prettiest thing to look at but it makes both of us smile. See, for me, my grandmother who passed away in 2010 was an avid gardener. Her entire backyard always was a garden. She had at least three and grew everything. She had a store where she sold extra produce and she knew everything there was to know about planting and gardening. My dad used to go till for her and she was always cooking for us and bringing us extras from her gardens. She would can some items and let us
help taste-test everything.
After she died, it seemed like my dad started gardening more. Maybe because he missed her. Maybe because he just liked it. Maybe it was in his genes and he couldn’t help it. Whatever the reason, he has picked up where Grandma left off and it makes me really happy to see his garden and think of her. Having a garden of our own not only makes me excited to not have to buy produce at the store (we are pretty cheap after all), it makes me feel like I am honoring my grandma. I feel like she is looking down and smiling, knowing that she has passed on to me something that was special to her.
At my grandma’s funeral, we read a poem that really touched my heart:
When I was little my mom planted flowers; she tended her vegetable garden for hours. I played close behind her and “helped” in a way that only a mother would think was okay.
When I was a teenager and the world was mine, I rolled my eyes and left her garden behind. When she wanted to teach me to harvest and preserve. I tossed my head and refused to observe.
When I was grownup and lived far away, my heart’s great desire was to return some day to the garden my mother had tended so long – to reclaim before it was gone.
I stayed close behind her and helped in a way so I’d know what to teach my own daughter some day. And now that her garden is taking a rest – I’ll take what I’ve learned and know I’ve been blessed.
(For my mother’s garden grew only the best!)
As our wedding anniversary quickly approaches, I remember my grandma again as she didn’t live long enough to attend in person. But I know she was there in spirit because her pot she always made stew with was waiting for us when we walked into our reception. This pot always had a stew with vegetables from her garden in it, and Grandma always said Chase was the lid to my pot. I miss grandma everyday but am so glad to have a garden to remind me of her and the love she had for gardening, and for her family.