Friday, July 9, 2010

Back to my Passion of Gardening


For almost 70 years, my passion has been flower gardening. Due to the health problems I’ve endured the last couple of years, I haven’t been able to do any gardening and I’ve really missed it. A few weeks ago I was surfing online, checking out the offerings of many of the flower nurseries I follow. I noticed that daylilies were offered at a really good price at Gurney’s Seed and Nursery Co. I gave in to temptation and ordered some.

To the surprise of my daughter and son-in-law, who’ve been helping me with my mobility for the last 2 years, I was able to get outside and DIG a flower bed in preparation for the arrival of my daylily bulbs. I recall an expression my wife Phyllis often said: “You can do anything you put your mind to!” Well, I proved that last week as I dug by hand a garden area that was 20 feet long and 4 feet wide. Since I’m not very steady on my feet and my knees are weak, I sat on the seat of my walker and drove my “sharp-shooter” into the ground. But I was able to stand long enough to spread the freshly cultivated earth with my rake and smooth out my garden area.

DSCN0106Oh, how I love the smell of fresh soil! I’ve been so happy that I’ve been able to get back outside to work in the dirt.

Shortly after I’d prepared my garden area, I received this email from Gurney’s: “Thank you for your recent order of LILY GRAB BAG. Unfortunately, we have had to cancel your order for this grab bag. We apologize for the inconvenience, but the product we received from suppliers did not meet our quality standards and therefore we could not ship it. You will not be charged for your grab bag order.”

This was my reply to them: “Thank you so much for being honest about your quality standards.  It reassures my opinion of GURNEYS. I have held you folks in esteem  clear back from when you were the sponsor for Lawrence Welk playing on the radio.  In fact years ago I visited his museum in California which had a mock up of the original GURNEY Radio Studio on WNAX, in Yankton, South Dakota. I also have fond memories when George B. German broadcast from Yankton radio. I still treasure my memory of him singing the song "Little Old Rag Doll". I am now age 88, which gives you an idea of the time frame.”

My daughter Becky knew I was disappointed that I wouldn’t be getting the daylilies I’d ordered, so she offered to take me to Brady’s, our local nursery, to shop for some flowers to plant in my big flower bed.

DSCN0103 DSCN0101 DSCN0102

I’ve started my planting, and oh! what a chore. But I’m really enjoying it. We had a good rain last night so I’m taking today off while the ground dries out a little. But I’ll be back outside in my garden tomorrow!

DSCN0110  DSCN0108 I’m proud that I’m still able, as I approach my 89th birthday in another month, to get outside and enjoy my favorite activity…getting my hands in that soil! I’ll show you pictures of my garden when it’s finally in full bloom!


Grammy Carrie said...

I think it is wonderful.. There is something about putting our hands in dirt that cleans to soul... I love your posts.. May God bless you with the strength to continue working in your Garden for years to come..

Thomas MacEntee said...

Great garden plants! I have the same Russian Sage in a plot which is about 30 feet long by 2 feet wide - in front of the parking spaces for our place. I like the Russian Sage because it is drought resistant and looks great!

Now we need you to post photos when the garden is in full bloom in August!

And happy early 89th birthday Ernie!

Miriam said...

Loved this post! I'm looking forward to adding some color to my flower beds by planting some petunias and maybe some's a little late, but my roses are fading and my mums are still awhile from blooming.

Good to hear that you are doing well..take care!

GrannyPam said...

Wonderful, Ernie. I know what you mean about the smell of the dirt, I love the smell and feel. Enjoy your flowers.

Greta Koehl said...

Lovely! I'm also a die-hard flower gardener and understand how good it is to have a mail-order company that you can rely on for real quality. But of course, the local nurseries are fun to visit, and it looks like you have a good one. We had too much heat last week to do much of anything outside, but it's back to the dirt this week! I look forward to seeing more pictures of the garden.

Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Great post! I look forward to hearing and seeing more about your garden. I can't seem to grow a thing, so I'll just enjoy yours.

Nancy said...

Bless your heart to be out there digging by hand! Amazing that you have the stamina to do it. I know your garden will be beautiful. Maybe next year you can get the daylilies (if you still have space).

Kate Keller said...

Look forward to seeing more photos of your garden!!!

Les said...


Carol said...

Please do post photos of the finished garden. I love plant shopping! Glad you are feeling better and are out in the beloved garden.