Happy Birthday, Inga!

Other parents will understand when I say how difficult it is to believe that this sweet little crybaby is now a beautiful mature adult who owns her own home and is such an avid gardener.

Inga is second of my four children, and since she happens to be the one who keeps me updated on the progress in her yard, she’s the one who gets the special recognition in this blog today. I don’t want to neglect my other three kids, so when they send pictures of their gardens (or whatever), you’ll get to see them, too.

To give you some perspective on her garden in relationship to her home, here is a wintery picture of Inga in her doorway. The house was a “mail order” home from Sears & Roebuck in the 30s. She has worked miracles with the space.

In Hawai`i, we don’t need to worry much about gardening based on a snow season. In some ways, I miss the thrill that comes from watching for the first little sign of spring. On the other hand, I get the same excitement when one of my “lava-grown” plants does send out new leaves.

Vicariously, Inga’s winter garden pictures help my occasional yen for real seasons. I will show her natural creative bent as the autumn months signal the end of a summer growing season.

Her sense of humor is always present.

Finally, the snow takes over. Even as that white stuff starts to cover the ground, there is a certain beauty in a snow-covered cherry.

There are remembrances of tea in the garden, where she could admire her labors.

The birds have gone South for the winter, while humans hang around for jobs, and dreaming of spring blooms.

We are never too old to find fun in the snow. It’s too bad Mr. Snowman can’t last all year.

Throughout the winter, Inga continues to garden in her hand-built greenhouse.

By the time spring arrives, Inga has prepared her brightly colored containers that will provide brilliant spring color to her garden.

Inga doesn’t do all the work herself. She has Quimby, her Corgi, to help out. I’m not sure if he helps as much as he thinks, but he’s good company.

Of course, another of her helpers (Baxter) prefers to take it easy and simply watch the action.

Or maybe he prefers the winter?

I never would have believed grapes this lush could grow in Idaho!

When water is more easily available than here in my part of Hawai`i, it’s possible to create a sweet pond in a small corner. I remember Inga telling me how she had to tear out a lot of old trash to create this serenity.

What a major visual change has taken place by the beginning of summer!

In June 2004, Inga’s tiny garden was selected to be one of several in the Idaho Botanical Garden Tour.

It’s easy to see why the tour brochure described Inga’s garden the way it does. The person who wrote up the brochure calls it a “Storybook Cottage.” Then the brief write-up says:

“This teeny, tiny garden and cottage will have you looking under leaves for fairies and leprechauns. At just 450 square feet, the house is a wonder by itself. It was purchased through a catalogue company in the 1930’s. The faux stone siding was a breakthrough at the time and the cottage was used to demonstrate the ease and thrift of applying the new building material. The miniature greenhouse, white picket fence, tiny stone paths, and exuberant plant pallet come together to create a charming garden you won’t want to miss.”

The next few pictures give a glimpse of what the visitors might have seen.

Anyone walking down this street will enjoy the benefit of Inga’s hobby.

Inga will eat and give away much of her produce, then probably make something out of what is left to tide her over the winter months again. Pictures of her herbs were in a recent post, and her compost pile will be in a future post.

No more crybaby here!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, INGA!

3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Inga!”

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