Friday, July 15, 2011

Green Thumbs

I have always admired anyone with a green thumb. I have never considered myself to have a green thumb; however I never had much of an opportunity to “practice at it” either. Almost 18 years ago I was brought into a family with “green thumbed women”. I was AMAZED at the farming and gardening that Byron’s family did (and still does). Let me just tell y’all how “uneducated” I was … the first year Byron and I were married, Nana (his grandmother) called to say that there were LOTS of peanuts to be picked - so we headed to Nana & Papa’s after work the next day and on the way out there I asked Byron which tree the peanuts grew on … YEP – that’s exactly how uneducated I was!! Somehow it became routine for Byron and I to go to Nana & Papa’s every Monday when we got off work. Between the full garden and the sugar cane, there was always plenty of work to do. Fortunately the Lord blessed me with 12 years to watch and learn all about farming, gardening and canning from Nana. One of the first things she taught me was how to cook and freeze pumpkin so that we could have homemade pumpkin pies all year round. Of course, teaching me how to make a pumpkin pie from scratch was part of that cooking lesson. I am so excited that Papa planted cooking pumpkins this year … it has been way too long since I have had one of those from-scratch-Nana-pumpkin pies!!

Shortly after Byron and I bought our new house last year I asked my mother-in-law to come over and help me start planning on what to plant. My sweet mother-in-law certainly got Nana’s (her mother) green thumb … I do believe my mother-in-law could resurrect a plant from the dead!! After almost a year of plotting and planning on what to plant, we finally commenced to planting this past March. Let me just pause and tell y’all that we didn’t go to the local nursery and buy a bunch of stuff to plant - everything that my mother-in-law and I have planted has a “deep rooted history” – ultimately everything came from Nana’s yard.

We are in the process of plotting and planning our fall planting session, all of which will continue to have that “deep rooted history”. Right now my mother-in-law is in the process of rooting some Hydrangeas to plant. We are also going to move 2 larger Pink Crape Myrtle Trees from Papa’s house to our house. It seems almost every Monday night Papa, Byron and I walk around in Papa’s yard and talk about all the things we need to transplant from his house to ours.

On Easter Byron and I went to Uncle Kenny and Aunt Dorinda’s for supper. Wouldn’t you know she had a bunch of Crinum Lilies that she didn’t want and of course I was kind enough to take them off her hands. The pictures of the lilies are a mix of the ones my mother-in-law and I planted and the ones that I got from Aunt Dorinda. Aunt Dorinda also gave me several Purple Crape Myrtle sprigs that kept coming up from a tree they had removed.

I have always been fond of the beautiful Oleander bushes at my BFFs parent’s river house so I decided to take a couple of clippings while I was there Memorial Day weekend …
I know, I know, Oleander is poisonous! There may be some folks we would like to “accidently” slip some Oleander sap to, but I think we will be able to refrain!!

One night my nieces and I were at Lowe’s and they helped me pick out some seeds to plant in our yard. I will be honest that the seeds sat on the kitchen table for a long time. Finally I decided that they weren’t going to grow in the packages so I went outside and hoed up a corner of the yard, threw down the last of the potting soil I had, threw out a little fertilizer and the seeds and this is what I got …

Now that I know I can grow wildflowers with little to no effort, I will take a little more time actually planting the seeds instead of "throwing them out" next year.

The very first thing we planted in our yard was our Bradford Pear Tree. Byron and I are so blessed to be part of an AMAZING church family!! Words could NEVER adequately describe how we feel about our brothers and sisters at Glen Springs Road Church of Christ!! Last year when Byron and I bought our house, our church family surprised us at the annual Easter potluck with a Bradford Pear Tree covered in gift cards and money as a token of their happiness for us buying our new home. Byron and I both were speechless with the outpouring of love they showed to us. This tree is planted just inside our gate and we are reminded EVERY DAY of the blessings God has given us in each and every member of our church family.

One day while my mother-in-law was at our house she noticed a sucker at the base of the tree. She told Byron to cut it off and stick it in a pot with some potting soil and see what it did. This is what it did ...
Undoubtedly my husband has inherited a green thumb from his Nana, Papa and mother!! 

As most of you know I have been walking one of the hardest journeys of my life with my Best Friend SaraBeth. 8 months ago today Rob and SaraBeth received a fatal diagnosis for their sweet baby Faith. The last several months have been filled with so many ups and downs, so many prayers, so many sleepless nights and so many tears!! There were so many times when I felt so inadequate as a friend because I didn’t know what to say … the only thing I knew to do was to pray - I prayed so hard for the Lord to be with me, to guide me and to give me the strength, courage and wisdom I needed to help SaraBeth on this journey. I immediately reached out to my AMAZING “30 Somethings Sisters” for their prayers not only for me but for SaraBeth, Rob, Baby Faith and the rest of the family. Again, I can’t even begin to tell you of the love, encouragement and support that my sweet sisters so freely bestowed to not only me BUT to SaraBeth, Rob, Baby Faith, and the rest of the family during this difficult journey. I can’t even describe how it felt to see so many from my church family at Faith’s service and meeting my BFF for the very first time BUT because of our common bond there were no introductions necessary.

This is a Hibiscus Tree that some of my sweet sisters gave me to plant in honor of Faith. I promise you that EVERY DAY since I have had this beautiful tree there has been at least 1 bloom on it. Each day I look at this tree and remember precious Faith and that although her life was very short her testimony will live on through SaraBeth and Rob for years. I am truly blessed to have such an AMAZING best friend and to be part of such an AWESOME church family!!

Maybe I do have a green thumb after all ... at least a "learned green thumb" from Nana and my mother-in-law. After our last planting session my mother-in-law said that it reminded her of when she and Nana would plant and garden together. I look forward to many more years of planting and making memories with my mother-in-law.



  1. I am so impressed by your horticultural abilities. I never knew you would have it in you. But I LOVE the fact that some of your precious plants came from some of the places that have provided some of the most precious moments in our friendship. But I have to admit, I am especially fond of Faith's hibiscus tree. They are beautiful, just like her. And I know her Aunt Amy will take such good care of her tree. I love you!!!

  2. I love that Hibiscus Tree it is so pretty I think when I was over there with to pick up Brookie from camp I think there was 5 or 4 flowers on the tree it was so pretty I love that type of tree i'm not sure if Grammy has it or not I don't think she does Love u

  3. It is a pretty tree isn't it Bug ... Grammy doesn't have one but maybe we can change that - I'm sure she would LOVE one!!!!

    Love you sweet Bug!!