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My Early Gardening Years

December 18th, 2010

My mom was going through a box of photos that she got from my grandma’s house this summer and she came across these photos of me in my early gardening years. I thought you’d enjoy seeing these.

Don’t you just love this stylish gardening outfit! I still get that dirty when working outside and of course I still always wear sandals in the garden. (and my mom still grow amaryllises this lovely every year)

No doubt in the photo below I’m explaining the finer points of proper watering to my older sister. Mr Chiots laughed and said, “You still hold your watering can like that.”

My mom used to let me pick out flowers when we’d go to the greenhouse every spring, I remember choosing some cockscomb one year. I also have fond memories of leafing through seed catalogs to pick out “my vegetables” to grow each year in the edible garden. For some reason they were always blue and they never grew very well, but that never stopped me from picking something blue the next year. That little flowered watering can in the first photo was my favorite, I loved watering with it. I also remember using the old watering can that I currently have on my front porch for holiday decor. Watering must have been my favorite gardening activity as a girl.

Were you a gardener when you were young? Do you remember planting, watering and spending time in the garden?

18 Comments to “My Early Gardening Years”
  1. louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife on December 18, 2010 at 7:02 am

    I was a gardener/child slave labourer when I was little. ;)

    I have faint memories of helping to sow and water vegetables but my more vivid memories are at harvest time – as the smallest and nimblest of the family, I was the one sent up fruit trees to collect their bounty; or the one who had to scrabble around in the dirt to find the potatoes as my dad turned the soil; or the one who had to keep an eye on the hundreds of tomatoes that had been picked to lessen the weight of the plant and needed ripening inside.

    Due to health problems, my dad had reduce the amount of veg he grow when I was around 12 and, for a while, while my mum was working as a florist, he switched onto growing to-be-dried flowers and I helped with those too – picking them and putting them on wires, and preparing them to be sold by arranging them in bunches by colour/size. As I have a touch of OCD for that sort of thing, it was much more fun than it sounds!

    Reply to louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife's comment

  2. Denise on December 18, 2010 at 9:50 am

    these are classic! Growing up – gardening was one of our chores. I don’t look at that way now : )

    Reply to Denise's comment

  3. kristin @ going country on December 18, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I remember enforced labor in our yard when I was a child, particularly gathering the hated banana tree branches in Hawaii. They have to be pruned a lot, and I was the youngest so it was my job to gather them. Those things are HEAVY.

    We did have a vegetable garden in Alaska, but I have no clear memories of that except for seeing moose in it.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

    • Susy on December 18, 2010 at 10:35 am

      You’ve gardened all over the place haven’t you, in all sorts of climates.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. Amy @ Homestead Revival on December 18, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Oh, how precious! Those pictures were really fun to see… thanks for sharing your early years. I always longed to have a vegetable garden, but unfortunately my parents didn’t really have a desire to nurture this, so I didn’t get much encouragement in this area. However, they gave me more opportunities than I ever wanted in landscape maintenance! We had 32 trees in our front yard and a retaining wall about 50 yards long that I got to trim around each week… by hand!

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  5. Cannedquilter on December 18, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Loved the childhood pictures ! For me growing up on a farm gardening was always a part of my life. I remember as a child having my own flower beds and always helping in the family garden. My favorite thing was to pick the strawberries. There were always huge dishpans of them to be picked and I would help mama stem them and we would make strawberry jam. Now over a half century later I still pick strawberries and make jam with my grandchildren.

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  6. deedee on December 18, 2010 at 11:20 am

    our garden was also called “the jungle”…. slave labor probably would also better describe the work we did there! but we always got to run through the sprinkler when we were done. i’ll email you a pic… you’ll die laughing.
    loving the pink pants btw! that’s not something you see too often on you!

    Reply to deedee's comment

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: My Early Gardening Years #aboutme #inmyyoungeryears […]

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  8. alecia on December 18, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    precious childhood pictures!! love the cute little grin and watering can.

    memories of shucking corn and shelling beans have stayed with me through the years- and of course- weeding!! favorite memory would be eating peaches right off the tree- Madison variety- and the juice running down my chin and all over my clothes – what a heavenly smell and taste-seem to have blocked out all the pruning and spraying of the peach trees.

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  9. Lee on December 18, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I still remember my first flower garden when I was a kid. It was the only one in my neighborhood and was my pride and joy. Everybody was poor then and if they had any piece of land they would plant edible plants and not flowers. I don’t know why my mother indulged me by letting me have a flower garden but I’m happy she did. Sadly, eventually we had to move to another continent, but I still remember that garden fondly. I guess,after all these years, I still carry it in my heart.

    Reply to Lee's comment

  10. Whitney on December 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    These are great! You need to recreate them for the Young Me Old Me blog.

    Reply to Whitney's comment

    • Susy on December 19, 2010 at 4:59 pm

      I should do that, I think I even have some pink pants.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. Kaytee on December 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Those pictures are so cute! You look so happy to be out there!

    I’ve always been into gardening, and that’s how I got my love. My mom was in charge of the vegetable gardening and I would be so excited to go to the plant nursery to pick out the plants and seeds each year! When I got older, she let me take over, and now my brother’s in charge. The ornamental gardens were always my dad’s domain. He has spent A LOT of years changing his landscape, as well as the landscape of many neighbors. Every year, he still goes to the nursery and buys tons of annuals to plant and keeps his beds spotless. I was always right out there with them, and I’m thankful for it. My “side” career has been working at plant nurseries and greenhouses.

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  12. Kimberly on December 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing those photos. Your outfits look just like mine as a kid. Oh, the late 70s/early 80s…

    Reply to Kimberly's comment

  13. MAYBELLINE on December 19, 2010 at 1:43 am

    oh yes I certainly do. I thought of that on this rainy day meant for browsing seed catalogs. The Four O’Clocks made me remember growing them each summer along with Hollyhocks.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  14. warren on December 20, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I definitely helped int he garden. I always helped plant and weed and harvest. I think my most important job, though, was “beer-go-getter”

    Reply to warren's comment

  15. Renee on December 22, 2010 at 12:07 am

    So cute! I used to love gardening with my parents as a kid, too.

    P.S. I received the card – thanks! It’s beautiful!

    Reply to Renee's comment

  16. KimH on March 6, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I loved gardening as a child.. and I love gardening now though I dont have much room for it here in my NEO plot.. but I do tuck loads of plants in here & there where I can..

    Both sets of grandparents had a garden (one year long in the subtropics). One would let me help, the only would let me watch from the sidelines. :(

    My sweetest grandma who used to let me “help” her used to say a little ditty when we were planting corn that I to this day (some 40-odd years later) still say if Im planting corn. She had a dibble stick and would make a hole, and I held the seeds and together we’d say “One for me, one for you, & one for the birds” as I put 3 seeds to a hole..
    Its one of my most favorite memories that takes me right back to the middle of that garden with her when I was about 7or 8. I also used to sit with newspaper on my lap filled, shucking black eyed peas. Oh the fond memories.. there are way too many to mention but its a wonderful trip down memory lane!

    Reply to KimH's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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