Daddy’s Garden This Year

He’s been at it again.  Planting that garden of his.  This year, we all voted and decided that it was time for Daddy to quit planting his mountain garden and he finally realized he should listen to us (what choice did he have with 4 women voicing their opinions?).  His girls know best and he realizes we only want what is best for him and any man turning 90 in July should really only have one garden, you know?  So, that’s what happened this year.  One garden only.  In Marietta, the way it should be.  He can raise all he needs to raise in that one garden.

They are getting the sign ready now to put in the yard of the NC mountain house soon.  It’s a sad day, but one that we all knew would get here sooner or later.  They just can’t continue to keep up 2 houses as much as they want to.  They love it up there and we realized that they’ve had the house for over 35 years now, with lots of family memories and trips to that mountain house over the years.

The plan years ago when they built the house was to retire up there eventually, but when Lauren was born and my sister was a single mom, she needed their help so they couldn’t and wouldn’t move away from that little thing.  She captured their hearts and life has never been the same, so they took her up there with them many times during the summer months and she grew to love the mountain house too.  We all did.  It’s a peaceful and serene place and we all have such fond memories of that place. It has a piece of all of us as well as many family members and friends over the years.  Growing veggies up there in that mountain garden was a thing of beauty for my dad and one of the first things he did up there.  He plowed out a nice section in the flat part of his property by the creek, out in the full sun where a garden would grow nicely. And grow it did!  He has raised so many tasty crops of food in that garden over the years and we’ve all benefited from it.  Now, he will be down to one garden and that will be a’plenty!

So, let’s take a look at the Marietta garden.  He has muscadines growing on his grape arbor and those always do well.

To the right are potatoes and to the left his row of Parks Whopper tomato plants.  He always makes sure to have plenty of tomatoes planted, since we all LOVE those.  Thank goodness the spring rains have been good, we need plenty to keep this garden going.  My brother-in-law, Bruce, has been bringing him bags of leaves to put on the garden for mulch to help further richen the soil and it’s doing the job.

This garden has been growing crops for many years here in their backyard.  Since 1973 when we moved in this house, a garden plot was one of the first things done here.  We lived next door in the house straight over the fence when we first moved here (for 10 years and then dad built this house) and there was a garden in that backyard too. The young couple who lives there now have a small garden too.

Gardening gives daddy a purpose and a reason to get up in the morning, so we are glad he still has a passion for growing things.  This is his outlet and his “thing” and we are happy he can still do it.  He dearly loves to grow veggies and share them with everyone.  We have so many great veggie meals during the summer months out of this plot of dirt and are blessed to have a dad who knows how to grow things.

The other things are just starting to come up so I think it’s about the same as every other year, with peas, okra, corn, squash, zucchini, and beans being planted, but I’ll show you more when they get up a little higher.

I know this row is beans, not sure the variety.  I’ll get back over here soon and hopefully do another video so you all can see it and him in action.

In the meantime, I wanted to share Daddy’s garden and what’s sprouting now.  He will be out there working and tending this garden all through the summer. The heat doesn’t bother him a bit, he loves it in fact.  He’ll be napping in his swing most summer afternoons, as that is one of his favorite spots to sit and relax after working in the garden.  He might not have 2 gardens now, but he will make the most of this one, you can be sure of that!

- Rhoda


  1. Makes me happy to see your dad doing his thing! Reminds me of my dad and how he enjoyed gardening….in spite of the constant battle he had with the squirrels. Happy memories. Enjoy these days.

  2. Mary Sturgeon says:

    How blessed you are! Beautiful memories!!!

  3. willie says:

    BEAUTIFUL ….and so is the garden! I always look forward to posts about your parents, as they remind me of mine in so many ways. Give Daddy a hug and tell him to keep up the good work!

  4. Reading your post about your dad was a great way to start my morning. Made me smile. 🙂 My gramma was passionate about her garden too. A beautiful hidden flower garden at the end of a wooded path. She’d grab her cup of tea in the morning and tell us all (she lived with us) that she was just going to check on her garden for a minute. That “minute” always seemed to turn into hours! She’d notice something that needed tending, watering, weeding… She’d come back to the house with her half finished tea, dirty hands and a a great big smile! What a wonderful thing to just get “lost” in something you love. I hope your dad’s garden brings him bundles of joy this summer! I look forward to the updates.

  5. Cheryl Johnson says:

    Your parents are amazing people Rhoda. I always enjoy keeping up on what they are doing. Thanks!

  6. Great start to your Dad’s garden. When my mom was in her 90’s, her garden (about the size of his) had shrunk to a couple of raised beds of tomatoes. Guess gardening keeps you young at heart!

  7. kathy olson says:

    I agree with everyone! Everything feels right with my world, too, seeing your dad planting his garden.
    I totally get why they can’t manage the two houses, but is there any way it can be kept in the family? That seems heartbreaking to see it sold. Could it be rented part of the year or something like that? It just seems like a place that should be in your families forever.

    • HI, Kathy, I know it does seem that way, but none of the rest of us are attached to it like our parents are. We all loved going there all these year, but it’s just not a place we all want to own and keep,not our passion, plus we are all so far away and all have houses to take care of too, so it’ s just too hard to try to keep it.

  8. A truly awesome sight, that garden and gardener both, and wise choices in letting the mountaintop go to someone else who can love it similarly and enjoy the serenity it gave your family. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I know someone looking for a place in North Carolina. Please post the info when you have it available. Thanks for the gardening post. I was just thinking the other day about your Daddy and his garden. That garden soil looks amazing. I bet it could grow anything!

    • Hey, Lynne, they are right outside Murphy, NC, so if you think your friends are interested, email me. I think they’d like to keep it til the summer is over. We are planning one more family shindig up there with Lauren and her kiddos, so this will probably be the last summer to do that.


  11. Connie Luck says:

    Your parents are angels in disguise! We all love them like they were ours. Thanks for sharing their stories, gardens, recipes, etc., those of us that have lost our parents love hearing about them. Sorry to hear they will have to give up the cottage in the mountains but they still have all those beautiful memories.

  12. Roxanne says:

    Your Daddy. My Hero! His generosity in allowing you to post about his Costco hearing aids experience changed my life. It spurred me to get over there and take action. Now I hear birds singing, raindrops on the pavement, and my car blinker! I will be 65 on July 17, so I will definitely remember to toast your dad’s birthday in July! ❤️

    • Hi, Roxanne, I am so happy about your outcome and it just makes me smile to hear the report. I hope you had a fantastic time on your cruise and those hearing aids probably made it all that much better. Thank you for all your encouraging words!

  13. Sandra Anderson says:

    I always love your posts about family…especially your darling Dad and Mom! They are amazing to see with all they do and enjoy at their ages. Your Dad’s gardens are works of beauty. What lovely roll models, and such blessings!

  14. thanks for this update, Rhoda! We always love hearing about your dad and his gardening adventures. It reminds me of my mom who recently passed away and her love of gardening. It made her happy and was a great passion in her life. Look forward to the video update. Thanks again.

  15. Marcella Hilgartner says:

    Your dad is amazing to be able to do his thing in his garden at the age of 90. You are truly blessed to have such wonderful parents still in your life. I love reading your posts, especially the ones about your family. Your pictures are very good, too.

  16. My girlfriend is from Mississippi, but now lives here in California. She planted Muscadines…BEST grape jelly ever!

  17. I hope your father knows how many fans he has out here!! What a role model this awesome man is. I JUST LOVE HIM TO PIECES!!

  18. Hello Rhoda, your Dad and Mom’s precious hands. God has richly blessed them. You are special sharing all about the family. That’s what it is all about. Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Rhoda, your Dad can feed the whole family plus have the neighborhood with the size of that garden. It really makes me miss my grandparents garden. We loved the fresh vegetables and my grandmother canned and froze a lot of vegetables for us to enjoy. Oh, do I miss the great turnip greens. She always cooked a mixture of turnip and mustard greens then froze them after they were cooked and seasoned. I still do the same thing to this day. That’s when I can find mustard greens. For some reason they have been hard to find in the grocery stores the last couple of years and we don’t get to Whole Foods much anymore. Was that your Mom cooking the dumplings? Oh, I also miss those too, and I have lost my recipe for the dough. I’ll have to send you an email and tell you my funny story when, as a new army bride, I first tried to make dumplings by myself (and about 600 miles from home, before cell phones and long distance was still expensive). If I email you, can I pry your mom’s dough recipe from you?

  20. Harriet McMillan says:

    This makes me smile! I’m glad your Dad is able to plant and tend his garden as he so obviously loves to do it.

  21. These have become my favorite of your posts. God bless your Daddy and Mama, too; they are truly treasures from God’s own hand.

  22. So blessed.
    I’m so happy he still finds joy in the garden.
    Thanks for sharing!

  23. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Rhoda, how blessed you are to have your Mom and Dad so close! They are truly very special people and God has blessed them — and you, too! Enjoy each day you have with them!

    I can only enjoy the precious memories of my dear and precious parents! They were so special and loved so very much! Your dear parents remind me, so much, of my Mom and Dad!

    Blessings! Have a great day!

  24. Melesa Garrison says:

    What a blessing to be growing one garden at 90 years of age! Even as much as your Dad loves growing his two gardens, I bet it is a little relief to just have the one. I am 54 and I can’t imagine the work of two BIG gardens. Your Dad is a BOSS (Total compliment) Hope and pray that the house will sell at the perfect time so you guys can enjoy it this summer.

  25. Kellie says:

    I love reading posts about your parents! Your dad reminds me of my own grandpa who was also a gardener. Treasure your parents. Family is an amazing blessing.

    I would love to purchase their home in the mountains, so your family could continue to make new memories there. Sadly, I don’t think it is in my budget though. 😉

  26. stacey purser says:

    So glad to hear about your Daddy! Glad he is doing well. Please keep us updated on him! (and your Mom too)! I just love looking and hearing about all the veggies!

  27. Jeanie says:

    Once again, your father amazes me. I’m so glad he enjoys his gardening.

  28. diane in northern wis says:

    Thanks Rhoda, for sharing the pictures of your sweet dad in his garden. Makes me miss my dad and his garden!!! I’m glad that he has taken all of you ladies advice about only planting one garden now. I know that he has so much ambition and loves growing things…but hopefully this one garden…and it looks huge to me….will be enough to keep him busy. Sorry that the mountain house has to be sold but such things happen in every family and your great memories will last forever from that house. So glad you include all of us in your family pictures and goings on……I love that so much! Wish your parents my very, very best. May you all have a wonderful summer season. Wish I lived closer to share some of those yummy veggies!

  29. Your dad’s garden looks amazing already. I love seeing the meals that your mom prepares and have been missing them lately for some reason. They are such a sweet couple. Can’t wait to see more pictures of the garden and your family summer shindig in North Carolina.

    • Hi, Connie, we have been giving mom a break and not having her cook lunch for us. We’ve been picking it up and taking it over there for them to give her a break from cooking. But she still piles it on when we have special holiday meals.

  30. Barbara Hunnicutt Moore says:

    Sure would be great to get basic garden tips from your dad! I know he has so many ‘secrets’ on how to get the most out of your garden. Sounds like a great idea for a video/interview to me!!!

  31. Deborah says:

    Love seeing pics of your family and your daddy’s garden!

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