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The Mama -- the Zestful Gardener

Today is the end of the 16th round of ABC Wednesday, which was begun by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt eight years ago. Thanks to Roger, Di, Wil, and others for keeping the meme going.

For this round, I have been writing about The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumbs. . .and Fingers. With this last post, I give you photos of the zen and zip of the 93-year-old Mama in action over the last several years working her magic in her gardens.










Look at this! I actually caught the Mama resting yesterday. Of course, it was at the end of the day. But, if I didn't tell it was almost time for dinner, she would've kept on going. Molly the Cat helped to get her to stop by weaving in front of her.


To check out Z posts by bloggers around the world, click hereSee you next week with a brand new theme for ABC Wednesday.

Within Seven Years

The above photo is from seven years ago. That was the year the Mama decided it was okay to have planter boxes in her garden. She devised them herself, using loose boards, branches, and rocks.

At first, she grew vegetables in this box, but they didn't do to well. Too much shade from the miracle, apricot, and persimmon trees. I think it was four years ago, she decided to simply grow flowers in that box. "I like flowers," she said. "I want lots of flowers here." New flowers went in the box, as well as cuttings from her geraniums and daisies. I had my doubts. What was I thinking, right?


Yes, the box is full flowers. That's what it looked like this past March and April. The rear of the box is now full of geraniums.

Here's what the box looked like a few weeks ago. The Mama put up the headless scarecrow in hopes of scaring off the animals that were eating the apricots. Hasn't worked. But, I don't think she really minds too awful much. 


I'm linki…

X-ray Vision

The Mama doesn't drive anymore because she can't pass the eye test for her driver's license. (Thank goodness for that.) She gets annoyed with night and dimly lit scenes in movies on the TV because she can't quite make out what's going on, no matter how bright we make the monitor. But, in her garden, the mad horticulturist has x-ray vision, with a side of radar.

Do I see that lone, lemon leaf in the middle of the geraniums? Of course not. The Mama does.

Do I see the banana blossom sprouting within the banana grove? Nope. The Mama does.

Do I see that big chayote hanging in the midst of the miracle tree? Uh-uh. The Mama does.



It's the letter Xat ABC Wednesday, a meme began by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt and today hosted by Roger Green and his ABC team. Click here to check out other X posts by bloggers around the world.

The Wonderful, Wondrous Work of the Wizardess

Three weeks ago, I showed you, dear readers, a photo of my tomato plant that got broken by the wind and the Mama put back into the soil. Quite a few of you expressed faith that the Mama's wizardy would help nurture it back to life. Well, here's what the tomato plant looks like as of yesterday evening.


Vibrant! I helped a bit by plucking off the dead leaves that you see in the top photo. Maybe I inherited some of the Mama's authentic green thumb and fingers gene.

I want to show you another wonder in the Mama's garden—the Blenheim apricot trees. She started with one tree, which is the one on the right with all the drooping branches full of apricots. The first two or three years that the tree produced, the Mama collected many of the apricot pits and planted them around the backyard.

See that tree on the left with the lone apricot. That's the first fruit of the second generation tree. There's another second-generation tree by the fence that burst forth with fruit …

The View of the Mama

A rare second: The Mama not fidgeting, not picking up leaves, not doing anything. The moment after I clicked the camera, she picked dried leaves off the rose bush in front of her.


It's ABC Wednesday. My theme this round has been The Mama and Her Authentic Green Thumb...and Fingers. Click hereto check out what other participants are writing about the letter V.

The Unobtrusive Apple

See the apple in the picture.

 I didn't see it when I took a photo of the branches this morning. So, I was utterly surprised when I saw the apple in the image on the computer.

The Mama and I didn't notice any blossoms on the tree earlier this year. I wonder how many other apples are hidden underneath the branches. Once I post this, I'm going outside to point out the unobtrusive apple to the Mama. Maybe we'll find others.

By the way, this apple tree, as well as two other apple trees, grew from seeds that the Mama planted nearly 28 years ago. Yup, from apples that she ate. People told her the tree would not ever bear fruit. Ha!


It's ABC Wednesday, a wonderful meme started by Denise Nesbitt and currently being administered by Roger Green and his wonderful ABC team. Come check out other U posts by bloggers from around the world.



Tomato Plants

Today, I'm showing you photos of the Mama's tomato plants.  She has one huge tomato plant growing in her squash patch. That's it in the above photo. She says the plant has two tiny fruits.

The Mama has four tomato patches in various parts of the yard. The tomatoes all started as seedlings in this box. In other words, these are the plants that did not get transplanted else where.


All the patches of transplants are quite healthy. Here's one of the patches.


Then, there's my tomato plant. This was supposed to be a pot of milkweed for the monarchs. Ha! A week ago, the wind blew the tomato plant's container on its side breaking off the branch. The Mama, fortunately, came along and stuck the branch back into the pot. The tomato plant just might make it.


It's ABC Wednesday. That's where I'm linking up today. Click here to check out other participants with me.



Sparkly Dancing in the Shed

It may not look like the Mama is smiling, but she is. She's happy as a lark in the photo. Pourquoi?

One reason is that at the time I snapped the camera, it was raining cats and dogs. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I was indeed standing in the rain and grinning ear to ear. Rain, as I've said over and over, is scarce in our part of the world.

Prepping camote (yam) stems for her vegetable garden was another reason the Mama was gleeful. The previous day, the Husband and I bought her four bunches of camote leaves at the farmers' market.  She had been snipping away for about half an hour before the first raindrops plopped on her colorful clothes.


While I was dancing in the rain, the Mama was dancing inside the shed. Not physically doing the cha cha, but mentally. Just look at the sparkle in her eyes and the smile on her lips. Instead of cooped up in the house, the Mama was sitting snug and dry in the shed, stripping off camote leaves from their stems, while the rain drummed a cool …

The Mama's Roses

The Mama loves her roses. They're all over the back yard.  In odd places, such as the middle of her banana grove.


Some of the roses started as branches that she pruned from the roses in her front yard. Others are branches that she pruned from those branches that she pruned from the roses in her front yard.


I'm sure, there are third and fourth and fifth and so on and so forth generations from either the roses in the front or the back yards. Did I confuse you? Let me just say that it's been years since the Mama has planted a new rose bush.


She prunes a branch off one of her rose bushes and sticks it in the ground where ever she pleases. She waters it and that's it. No special food or fertilizer.


The Mama's philosophy: A branch takes and roses bloom, or it does not. But, she always hopes it will. From what I've seen, since I often water the flowers now, her transplants bloom 90 percent of the time.


Today is the letter at ABC Wednesday, a meme began by Mrs. Denis…

Head Pollinator

For nearly 27 years, the Mama worked in applied seed research. She had a hand in getting the stink out of broccoli and creating an oblong tomato that would be easier for machines to pluck without bruising, among other horticultural feats. This was many years before genetic engineering in agriculture came to be. Back then, seed research involved people cross pollinating generations of cabbage, tomatoes, corn, pumpkins, squash, peppers, broccoli, melons, and other vegetables and fruits.

It's not as easy as you think. It takes steady hands and a focused mind. And, if you're working with the Mama, you definitely cannot be a slacker, at least on the job. I ought to know. I worked for her for two summers when I was a teenager. One of the best paying jobs to have back then. The Mama was the supervisor of the crew of seed technicians. Summer being the busy season, she hired two or more teenagers to help out. She wouldn't hire me until the summer after I graduated from high schoo…

New in the Mama's Garden

Those white blossoms may one day produce Asian pears for us. The tree had quite a lot of blossoms this year, but then we had a couple days of rain. The rain was wonderful for us, since we're in a drought, but not so much for the blossoms. So we shall see.

Look in the background and you can see some clusters of buds of the avocado tree. If they all wake and do their thing, we're going to have a huge crop this year.

What else is new in the Mama's garden?

This past week, she planted long beans and some other kinds of beans, which I can't recall. She says that sometime soon she'll plant green beans. Yup. We like our fresh beans.


Seeds that the mama dropped into the soil a few weeks ago have popped up. These are parda plants. I have no idea what the English word is for parda. Not even sure if I'm spelling the Ilocano word correctly. It's a kind of bean that looks like a huge, slightly hair pea. The young ones taste good mixed in with sliced tomatoes and red …

The Miracle Tree

This crazy looking tree is the Miracle Tree. That's not its real name.  The Mama calls it the passion tree, but it's not. I looked it up and the tree doesn't resemble the passion tree from Australia.  Once-upon-a-time I knew the name of this tree.  Doesn't matter if I don't ever know it again. I like calling it the Miracle Tree.

I may have told this story before, so if you heard it, that's okay, you can wander over to another post.

About 25 or so years ago, the First Husband gave the Mama a packet of seeds that he got in the mail from a Native American tribe. He nor I had any idea what kind of plant the seeds were. The Mama, being the Mama,  planted them in the backyard to see what they may become.

It was shortly after the First Husband died that I noticed the tree. "What kind of tree is that?" I asked.

"I don't know," said the Mama.

"Where did you get it?"

"Frank gave me the seeds. He said they came from Indians. I call …