Posted by: penpatience | July 31, 2022

TIS SUMMERTIME! How does YOUR garden grow?

WRITERS WORDS: “If you have a garden and a library you have everything you need.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero



TIS SUMMERTIME!   How does YOUR garden grow?


An old but well-known nursery rhyme: “Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockleshells, and pretty maids in a row.”

I recall from childhood mom and dad did not grow “silver bells and cockleshells.”

They planted fruits and vegetables-lettuce, corn, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, rhubarb, snap peas, green beans behind our garage on two huge lots owned by my grandfather. A grape arbor thrived in the back yard with apple, peach trees and blackberry, raspberry bushes spreading helter-skelter on untilled soil.

A quick trip down memory lane: Corn on the cob was picked and shucked just before dinnertime.  Salads with various vegetables were served almost daily at our table. When berries ripened, we picked and strew them over breakfast cereal, eating our fill during the picking process. During the summer months when the vegetables matured, it was common practice for my sisters and friends to pick a tomato or cucumber, rinse it under the outdoor faucet and eat it for lunch sans bread. Our vegetables were grown with natural fertilizer. I guess, today, you would call this “organic” and pay more for these veggies than those grown through different processes.  Our parents had proverbial “green thumbs” with mom growing beautiful roses, tulips, and perennial blooms in her many flower gardens. One of the greatest gifts inherited within our family was respect and love of the land. Over time, our own thumbs turned various shades of green within our own gardens.

I muse. “Earth laughs in flowers” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Food for thought. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Trees, bushes, plants provide edible fruits, nuts, coffee beans, tea, herbs, etc. Money is necessary, of course, BUT is not edible.

Well, how DOES your garden grow? Not yet a gardener? No time or room to plant?

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn

I know there are many folks, like me, that learned about growing food at a young age. “Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden.” – Robert Breali

I recall the first time I watched dad plant green beans in rows. It’s an astounding miracle to watch a seed push up from the earth, sprout and, with care and watering, become beans for the supper table.

So, how to do you begin to sow your seeds😊

Local libraries often have book and magazine sales where a variety of gardening material is available. Your local Cornell Cooperative Extension Organization ( is filled with gardening information. Always, the Old Farmer’s Almanac, is a great tool for new and seasoned gardeners. There’s the National Gardening Association and local garden centers that can provide information on choosing, growing and planting vegetables and flowers that suit your tastes, locale and home environments.  Check your state’s planting zone for growing timetables.  If you reside in the Northeast, USA, it’s not too late to grow some vegetables.

A TIP: “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” – Author Unknown

BON APPETIT! (Good Appetite)



  1. I really enjoyed this musing! My grandparents on both sides always had gardens. My Irish grandfather grew huge veggie and flower gardens on the lot next to his house, and had asparagus in cold frames. My parents weren’t as interested in a garden but let me give it a try. I’ve always had a garden but they haven’t always been successful. I can’t grow zucchini or any kind of squash if my life depended on it – the weevils and borers find them. But tomatoes and peppers have been kind to me.

    How nice it must have been to grow up with fresh vegetables at every meal!


    • Hi Pat, I’m always glad to hear from you. We have so much in common with writing and growing.
      Thanks for keeping in touch.
      Best wishes always,


  2. Loved this one. Brings back great summer memories growing up with fresh corn on the cob. Oh the smell of ripe tomatoes!


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