In Dad’s Garden

In Dad’s Garden

Yesterday, Tom and I went to visit my dad down in San Diego. One of the highlights, always, is the Garden Tour. Every time I’ve visited since I moved out thirty years ago, the first words (after initial greetings) from dad have been  – “How about a garden tour?”

The man has magic in his hands. About twenty years or so ago, he decided to dig up his lawn and plant. Tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins – you name it, he planted it. This section of used-to-be-lawn now regularly gets tilled (the old fashioned way – with a shovel) and prepared every February for planting.

These are his tomato plants. They make mine look puny. PUNY, I tell you! (Note the sunflowers facing away at the top of the photo!)

Dad's tomato plants

And take a look at his pumpkins. Mine got started about a month after his did, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that eventually they’ll really take off. Neither of mine are the gigantic pumpkins like his are, but still…aren’t those leaves pretty?

Dad's big punkin

This one is about 12 – 15 inches across.

Dad's punkin patch

The leaves are about knee high.

Then there are the sunflowers. Freaking gorgeous! When I told him about my spindly ones with lots of flowers, he said he’s always wanted to grow those. So…this fall, we shall have a sunflower seed exchange, lol. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to grow dinner plate beauties!


These stand about 17′ high.

Plus his apple trees, berry bushes, and the Meyer Lemon tree that started my fixation with all things lemon, a long time ago. I always make sure to pick as many lemons as I can, and stash them in the fridge to keep them as long as I can. I may actually have to learn how to preserve lemons!

(So far, my own little Meyer Lemon trees still have their lemons – and they’re getting to be a good size, too. So keep your fingers crossed for those trees!)

Here’s Dad’s Meyer Lemon tree…

Dad's Meyer Lemon tree

The tree that started it all…

And now, of course, a photo of my dad, resting in the garden.


Chet Cunningham

Though you can’t see it, behind the lemon tree to the left is the berry bush – beyond that is a pear tree.  You can see just a bit of the Grapefruit Tree that Ate the House on the right.

This is the yard I grew up in, missing only the swing and the above-ground pool (which used to stand where the tomatoes are now).

Now you know why I garden. Thanks, Daddy. Love you!


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Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m so glad to see you!

The Garden in May

The Garden in May

I didn’t have photos the last time I talked about the garden, but now I do. So here, first off, is the genius door in my garden. On the left is a pink jasmine, which blooms once a year, briefly. On the right is a star jasmine, which pretty much blooms in spring and all summer.

Photo of garden gate with jasmine growing on it.

Tom's genius idea in place. Gorgeous!

Right behind the gate, on the other side, is the beginning of my basil dynasty. On the left, sweet basil. In the middle, Thai basil. And on the right (which you can’t see in this photo) varigated perennial basil. I’ll believe it when I see it – the perennial part, I mean.

Here’s my beets and bell peppers bed.

photo of beets & bell peppers bed

To the right is a pot of mint; in the bed behind this one is a blackberry (marion) climbing up the wire fencing, and strawberries planted in front of it.

The next photo is taken from an extreme corner of my back yard, trying to get as much of the scope of the garden as possible.

Photo of the back yard from one corner.

To the left is one of the Meyer lemon trees. Straight in front are four small artichoke plants and three bigger ones. Moving to the right is a Bearss Lime tree – and beyond that, more artichokes. (The gate gets lost in this photo.) The beet and bell pepper bed, shown above, is to the right of the trash can. Behind me is another lemon tree and some squash seedlings.

Photo of the onion bed

Onion bed, with bee balm (small) in each front corner. Mint is to the left, Johnny Jump Ups and Buddha to the right, more strawberries and a boysenberry behind, with white sage in the pot behind the pot with the Johnny Jump Ups.

Below: My (unweeded) rose garden, showcasing the new bedroom window…

Window and the Roses

and…the rose garden, tamed through Tom’s diligent weeding work. With some brilliant shadows on the wall, thanks to the annular eclipse today.

weeded rose garden and shadows...

Hope you enjoyed the trip through the garden. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll post more as things develop!


DEMON SOUL is out now…BLOOD DREAMS, a Caine Brothers Short Story available June 1st. DEMON HUNT coming this summer!