Garden in a New Land
Written by Ann
Thomas, probably in the spring of 1954
My mother had
always lived in the hills of Southeastern Ohio. Born on Curtis
Ridge, she met my father in Cambridge. They were
married in 1940. In 1949, we moved into this house
on Highland Avenue.
loved to grow things. She even gave me my own trowel to play
with. One October I took some seeds from a jack-o'-lantern and
planted them along the driveway. Sure enough the next spring,
somewhat to her surprise (but not mine), a pumpkin vine started to
father had been working for other people for over 20 years, first at
Shoemaker Chevrolet in Falmouth, Kentucky, and then at Charles H.
Sipe Chevrolet in Cambridge. He had greater ambitions. He
wanted a dealership of his own. When one became available in a
small town 120 miles away, he took it.
in 1952 we moved into a "double" (the south half of a
house built for two families) in Richwood, Ohio, a village named for
its rich farming land and for its abundant trees. It's in Union
County in the flat plains of the western half of the state.
longed for the hills of southeastern Ohio where she had grown
up. When she heard in Richwood that someone lived "in that
house on the hill up north of town," she got all excited until
she discovered that the "hill" was only ten feet higher
than the surrounding fields.
the soil was rich, she had little luck when she first tried to grow
flowers. She told the story in a poem she read to a club that
she had joined, the Richwood Garden Club.
destined we should go.
It was not
for me to say "NO."
lovely hills of Guernsey County
And make a
home in Richwood, rich in bounty!
friends I knew we could make.
It was our
lovely flower garden that was at stake:
hundreds of tulips, jonquils, hyacinth and crocus bloom,
us each spring morning as we looked from our room.
were pansies by the score
their cheerful faces to the sun as we stepped from the door.
tea-roses, their colors bright and clear,
everyone happy to be alive who came near.
guard along the rock border
the whole bed look made-to-order.
marigold, petunia, calendulum, zinnia and daisies all there
memories of Grandmother's garden bright and fair.
beautiful silver maple was king of the lawn so green.
tuberous begonias were a sight to be seen.
finally chrysanthemums by the score said hello
To all who
stopped by, until laden with snow.
I found it our fate to live in a double,
shade trees, so great, for my flowers made only trouble
sun for a lowly petunia to abound,
wind flattening all to the ground
I cried in
despair, "Why must I live here
enjoy the flowers so dear?"
month of January meeting I did attend.
Miller, in her talk on begonias, gave me encouragement no end.
planning to grow begonias and begonias alone
shade, where I'm sure they will be at home,
planning to run an ad in the Richwood Gazette,
to trade: One lot of shade which I have plenty to let
several Garden Club members to stand
windbreak for my begonias in this level Union County land!"