I was a very lucky girl. I was a baby boomer baby and my mother was very much a June Cleaver without the pearls. She was a very simple woman but she was all about the home…cleaning, sewing, cooking. Saturday was our cleaning day so that our home would be in tip top shape on Sunday. Often we entertained the pastor for Sunday lunch which was either fried chicken or oven pot roast with fresh corn, green beans or in winter, home canned vegetables. Of course, there was a homemade dessert. All were so beautiful in appearance. She was truly a Proverbs 31 woman.
Pumpkin and Apple
We didn’t have a large home nor much money but my parents were hard workers who paid their bills and gave regularly to their church. My mother took great care of my dad who walked with a severe limp from having a bone disease contracted as a child. My dad always had a beautifully hoed vegetable garden in summer and worked his entire life supporting his family despite his handicap which would have caused most men to seek assistance. My mother learned mostly how to care for a home as she worked as a maid before she was married at 21; caring, cooking and cleaning for a family in our small town. My mother was the type that worked fast and found it easier to do it herself rather than teach me how to do it. She passed away when I was 24 and she was 58. It was a hard time for me. I married at 18 and was somewhat clueless about cooking. I quickly had a desire to do all those things like mother did. Before she was gone I would call her occasionally, long distance, to find out things like how to make gravy. The memory is a powerful thing. In my minds eye and after she passed away I could see the foods she made, how her hands quickly worked and shaped things like pie crust. I wanted to be just like her. My only real ambition was to be a wife, mother and homekeeper.
Pies at Christmastime 2014
I hope you will indulge me for this sentimental post. My mother was probably the greatest influence on my life. One day when I am better at blogging I will post pictures of this pie process from start to finish. Making pies like my mother is one of the joys of my life. It is her legacy to me. By the way my daughter makes pies too. It’s a beautiful family thing.
Several weeks ago before Thanksgiving I searched my local big box stores, discount stores, and nurseries for amaryllis bulbs. Bright red and mixed red/white ones are my favorites. I haven’t tried them in years but was just in the mood. I had enjoyed several pins of amaryllis on Pinterest. If you have no projects just check out Pinterest. It will get you motivated! Some of these pins featured the winter forcible bulbs in urns. Loved the look! In the fall I had purchased two small iron urns at an estate sale with my friend, Beth. It occurred to me they would be perfect for indoor bulbs. I cleaned them up with a wire brush and scrubbing. Then I sprayed painted them black. If I don’t like something’s color I paint it. Now they are just as nice as new.
I found some “boxed for gift” amaryllis at a big box store. Poor things were already growing much too fast inside the box. I rescued them at a slightly discounted price. Larger bulbs were found at the nursery but too highly priced for what probably is a throw away bulb for me when finished blooming. I planted them in regular potting soil and covered the area surrounding the bulbs with mosses purchased from a craft store to give the display a more finished look.
Now it is approaching mid January and the biggest bloomers are just happening. They are lovingly carried about every fifth day to my laundry room sink for water and dripping dry. All the pots I used have drainage holes and I take care to protect my furniture. Two pots are made from a resin but have the sort of look as the two iron ones. I am impressed with the blooms in this big resin pot. I may try this again next year with a collection in the largest pot, but the singles were pretty too. I think they are worth the effort. So beautiful! Give one a try next year.
The beds in winter can be a depressing sight. The color of khaki leaves and the basically colorless debris remaining are not among our favorites. There are a few brave souls that push on with green through the brutal cold such as, oxeye daisies and hollyhocks.
Oxeye Daisy in winter
Hollyhock in winter
But as an experienced gardener I know what lies beneath, especially, in my Cottage Garden which is made up mostly of perennial and biennial plants. In just a couple of months those brave little leaves will push up through compost and mulch.
The Cottage Garden in May
There is hope in a garden, there is faith to believe and there is optimism for the garden that will be. I’ll keep you posted on those beautiful leaves of the future. Let’s have another visit soon, my garden loving friend.