How I wish I'd spent more time with my mother Peg when she'd invite me to help her plant the annual flower bed. Sweating and slapping mosquitoes just wasn't this girl's idea of Spring time fun.
But when I had children of my own I wanted nothing but the best for them And the best included feeding them good fresh fruits, veggies and eggs. I'd loved my Godmother Bette's lovingly tended kitchen garden. There we ate chives and green peppers right out of the garden! Now that's what this girl craved. I probaly would have pulled weeds and risked mosquitoes for the chance to be offered a nibble from her garden.
My Aunt Nan is a gardener as well. Some of my favorite times are talking plants with her or hunting for new roses for us to sniff. And we love cooking together. Soups with fresh bread, we feel, is just the best meal one can have.
In my 20s I had a friend who grew the Garden of Eden. Really! Being invited for meals at his home meant never leaving the garden to go inside to a table. Eating a hot tomato fresh from the vine, munching on peas while picking corn and foraging for strawberries...I wanted that for my children.
So how did I come to be a rose grower? While backpacking in Europe in the 1970's I experienced my first fragrant rose at a "weekly town market". This rose was deep purple and a submitted for my pleasure a delicious fragrance I hadn't known was possible. That bundle was dragged as far South as the Greek Island of Crete and as far North as Hammerfest, Norway. The hunt was on. Bit by bit I experienced new roses but none like the one that stole my heart in Germany.
In 1986 while growing food for my young family I had the pleasure of meeting Syl Arena. Syl and his family began growing antique roses in the West Valley for commercial production. Syl introduced me to a fragrant rose, "Sombruiel", an antique climbing rose introduced in 1850. I've been hooked ever since. He referred me to a delighful older woman, Hallie Beck. She knew everything about growing roses in the desert. She even published a book about how to do it. Her book was my bible.
In 1990 When we bought this little farm she came and spent time with me showing me which roses to plant and how to nurture them. No one had the love of fragrant antique roses like Hallie did. Thanks to Hallie I now have roses bushes that are over 25 years old! Little by little I planted more roses than I can use in my home or as gifts to others.
But being a foodie I still grow food. Come to think of it we have olive and citrus trees that are more than 35 years old; they must have been planted in 1980. How old they were at planting we do not know. When you love to garden you can't have just one favorite. Every season we discover something new that we just have to try growing.
After years in working in health care and education... our little farm, Tre Soli, is just another way I do what I've always done... nuture healthy families. This blog allows me to share my excitement about what we learn and do while letting the reader know how they can get their own slice of heaven on Earth.
Thanks Mom, Bette, Nan, Michael, Syl, Hallie and My Three Suns! You've been my inspiration and motivation. I hope to carry your love to others in the form of fresh food and flowers.