Mid-Atlantic Grower columns

Keeping busy


(June 2015)


More than 22 years ago, I wrote a column introducing readers of The Delmarva Farmer to my first grandson, Vaughn. He was such an adorable baby, with hair — like his mother's at that age — that stuck straight up in the air.
Last week we welcomed another grandchild into the family, Vaughn's bride. At her bridal shower, Melissa gave me a big hug and said the sweetest words, "I've got a grandma again!"
With the help of Carol Johnson, former cut flower grower in Western Maryland who now lives in Seaford, and my husband, who hung Christmas lights across the rafters, the open pavilion at Cypress Point in Trap Pond was transformed into a wedding chapel. The fabric-draped arch wrapped in grape vine and ivy, with flowers tucked here and there, was almost what I'd pictured. The simple, handmade grapevine wreaths, with spray-painted dried hydrangeas and bows of tull, added color to the sides. Two rows of borrowed, realistic but artificial, potted hydrangeas in just the right shade of lavender created an aisle for the bridal party to walk down.
Two buckets of purchased cut flowers went a long way with greenery from my yard and my daughter's. Mason jars of flowers lined the path from the parking lot to the wedding site. Flowers and candles graced the picnic tables.
Carol showed Vaughn's stepmother and me how to make boutonnieres and corsages. She made the bouquets for the bride and her attendants at home, after working all day with us at the park. They were just what the bride wanted!
My daughter handled all the food and drinks and made the wedding cake, which was exquisite with purple calla lilies made out of gum paste that looked as beautiful as the real thing.
I was relieved — and exhausted, I must admit — when the wedding was over and the park emptied of our decorations the next day. I'm still sorting things out at home. I made smaller arrangements from the flowers (such a waste to use them for just a few hours!) and shared them with friends.
It wasn't just the wedding that wore me out. The garden club also replanted a dozen baskets and four big pots on the bridge near Nanticoke Hospital, then got rained out for the rest of our planting. Hundreds of plants in 4.5-inch pots ended up in my driveway: a batch for the hospital atrium; a batch for seven containers downtown; and another batch for eight more hay rack baskets on a second bridge. Keeping them watered and avoiding driving over them has been a challenge! I'll be glad when they are all planted and I can plant some of the leftovers in my own garden — if I can find it for all the weeds.
I've neglected my garden this spring; I'll be making up for it all summer.... after the club's garden tour June 13 in Seaford, that is. I'm so glad I decided not to have my garden included. That would have been too much.
So, if you're wondering what I will do in retirement, wonder no more. I'll have plenty of gardening to keep me busy.