My Dad’s garden has been a work in progress for as long as I can remember. Every spring, new plants would go in and new life would grow. Some of my fondest memories are standing in a garden centre with my Dad, the smell of dirt and mulch in the air, getting to choose a rose to be planted.
My father is happiest cooking for his family or tending to his garden in the sunshine. I’m proud to say I take after him in both respects. While his lessons in the kitchen taught me how to make delicious, nutritious, fresh food, his lessons in the garden taught me patience and perseverance.
I was spoiled growing up with a truly massive backyard. There is no way that anybody would build our little house on such a large parcel of land anymore.
But growing up I got to spend evenings in the backyard playing on the swing set, or sitting on the back patio watching the birds in Dad’s garden. Nothing stimulates the imagination quite so much as having room and space to play outside. I could be Mary in the Secret Garden, or an explorer in the jungle, the possibilities in my Dad’s garden were endless.For as long as I can remember I have been taught to cultivate life, through food and through gardens.
My Dad’s garden is full to bursting with flowers, honeysuckle that climbs over the fences, milkweed for the monarchs, roses and daisies and herbs. There are always birds at the bird feeders or in the bird bath. Sitting in my parent’s backyard is both peaceful and full of life.
On top of the natural beauty there is now the vegetable gardens. Where my swing set once stood there are now raised beds bursting with fresh vegetables. Although the local rabbit population has made a lifelong enemy of my father, her perseveres and just builds higher walls to keep them out. Or invites my Dog over to sniff around and frighten the rabbits off for a day.
Big lush greens everywhere you look. Potatoes, peas, tomatoes, squash, lettuce . . . too much to name.
My father has created something truly beautiful in what could have been a typical backyard. With grass, grass and more grass. I do the best I can to duplicate it with my little backyard in the city. One day I hope to be able to invite him over and serve him a meal of vegetables all grown by me. Now I am spoiled that a trip to my parent’s in the summer means coming home with arm loads of fresh vegetables. Thank-you Dad for all you have taught me. And your (very belated) Father’s day card is on it’s way.