When I was very young, during the summer, when school was out, I stayed at my maternal grandmother’s house while my mother and father were working. My grandmother was a gardener. She grew flowers and shrubs and trees mostly. Her yard was beautiful. In fact, she was featured occasionally as the “Yard of the Month” in her Dallas suburban home, and, at least once, I remember an article in her local newspaper about her garden. She was a member of the local garden club, and it was a big deal to her, and it made her happy.
Aside from this, she was a beautiful lady, very kind, and had an awesome laugh, especially when she couldn’t stop laughing and got on a roll.
My paternal grandmother also grew lots of flowers, especially heirloom roses, that had a fragrance so strong you could smell it as soon as you got out of the car to go busting into the house to say hello and raid her candy dish. Her pink roses were what my definition of “rose” was. I took them for granted because she had hundreds of them, it always seemed.
I have always been intrigued by the process of gardening, of “making things grow.” When people spoke of a “green thumb”, I took it literally and frequently looked at my grandmothers’ hands to see what color their thumbs were…hmm, same as mine, mostly pink.
One of the most interesting things at my maternal grandmother’s house was her rainwater collecting habits. I didn’t understand why she did it — had no understanding of drought or even the needs of plants for water — but she had several jars she kept on her back patio to catch water, and we were warned to keep away from them, my cousins and I.
Now that I’m gardening, and living through an extended drought in this Texas climate, I’m considering the rain catching habits of my grandmother. I may invest in several rain barrels, but for now, I think some large containers of any type will do. I have some old plastic storage barrels, and I can manage to improvise, I think, though I may have to figure out how to dispense the water once I have some collected. I’ll figure that out when we get some rain.