Spring Gardening: Late

Late Spring Gardening:  Aging

I’m late putting in my spring garden. It the tomatoes I am more concerned about. As a Midwesterner my husband likes his homegrown tomatoes. He and his father used to grow them in their rich farmland soil. Every spring they would set out the tomato plants and nature would do the rest. Just a little occasional plucking.

As a California girl my thought was a tomato was a tomato, what was the big deal? I tried growing them but I was better at eating them. If I got a handful of tomatoes I considered myself lucky.

A few years ago I don’t know what happened, maybe a better focus, or being home in August, or reading some gardening books but I grew tomatoes and they were wonderful. Now it’s June and the garden is getting a late start because – well – life happens.

The day started with a trip to the cheaper gasoline station across town. I told hubbie I would also stop at the nursery and pick up some vegetables. It’s a lovely nursery. It has been in this location for 50 years. First it was owned by Bill, who was a Rosarian. His knowledge of roses was masterful. There was also Bill who worked there, he was also an excellent gardener, and was also amazing with roses.

The former Bill was possibly in his 70s when he sold the nursery to a landscape man. Rarely did you see him at the nursery. His sister Mary and her family pretty much ran the place. It was nice to go there and shop, talk plants and just visit. The later Bill’s daughter Rosemary worked there after The latter Bill passed and she was a delight.

After I bought my gasoline I drove down the road to the wrought iron nursery gates. From a a distance I could see there were no bags of soil stacked up. All the garden statuary was gone. There were no cars in the parking lot, my heart sank. It’s gone. On the gate was a sign that said it was closing — it wasn’t gone — not yet at least.

I walked in their small cottage style sales office. “Mary what’s going on?”
“We’re closing,” she said, “I can’t do this anymore and my brother wants to retire,” she said as the tears welled up in her eyes. I didn’t want to make her cry I knew we both felt bad about it. I didn’t ask when the decision was made. I do understand that it was made without her brother consulting other members of the family who would be affected by it.
Tomorrow, how the community feels.</p>


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