Growing up in a small ocean front town on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, I spent most of my life living across the street from my Great Grandpa Mike, he was born in Poland 1912, farmed in Alberta from the age of about 18 till moving to the Island in 1950. Where his passion for gardening became more than a means of survival. Once I was old enough to help Grandpa in the garden, we quickly became pals, and were always together! Grandpa was known in our community, and still remembered, for his beautiful yard and his dahlia's most of all. I to this day still have some of his original dahlia tubers in my own garden! Every week Grandma would supply the church with a nice arrangement from her garden, and often supply people with all the flowers for their wedding - just for fun! I am also known to send home a boquet of dahlia's to anyone that visits!
Grandpa also grew most of his vegtables, grafted fruit trees and had some of the most beautiful roses - few of which I have aquired recently for my own yard. Grandpa gardened up till the age of 98- 2010, mind you he had downsized to a small home in town 20 or so years ago, he still managed to fill every nook and cranny with roses, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans, flowers and more.
One of his famous vegetables he grew so proudly till 2010 were his pole beans, (green beans) these bean seeds originate back at least 40 or more years ago. Every year Grandpa had so many beans, he gave all my friends, family and his neighbors beans, bags and bags of beans!. I never had to grow them, no one did, no one needed to! Upon his passing last summer 2011 I found 2 ice cream pails of seeds he had collected from his beans - I am rather proud to say this past summer 2011, I also carried on his tradition, I gave seeds to a few friends and neighbors, but most of all I grew beans, beans and more beans...I made spicy pickled beans and canned them - I gave these to family and friends. Grandpas's beans!
As a child my parents home was across the street from Grandparents. My parents weren't much into gardening but we did have a large property with fruit trees and flowers. I do remember a few things rather specifically, like I was right there right now. On warm sunny days we would sit under a big old plum tree near our kitchen window - usually listening to our parents talk and being nosey. There was this great big peach tree near the kitchen window, a couple of girls that lived a couple houses down from us would always be visiting. My sister, myself and our neighbors use to sit eating these great big juicey peaches in the hot summer with scents of sweet williams lingering in the air. My Mother did love to grow sweet williams, still is one of her favourite flowers. A couple years back my daughter brought home some sweet william seeds from school and she made a little garden of her own in an old galvinized baby tub..filled with sweet williams.
To be continued...