Both of my great-grandparents, Giulio and Atela (Scimia) DiBagno had green thumbs. Giulio knew how to graft trees and constructed a three sided grape arbor with a roof and benches on the inside that his grandchildren used as a cool refuge in the summer. His wife, Atela, grew up on a farm in her village of Bagno Piccolo in Abruzzo, Italy and probably learned the art of gardening and growing from her parents. She loved flowers and grew Dahlias, the tall kind with immense flowers, and African violets that she knew how to propagate from a single leaf. She planted and harvested her own garden and canned the vegetables. One of the vegetables that she grew were pepper plants. 

She enlisted her youngest daughter Edith to help her plant the peppers in the garden so that she would know what to weed. Knowing Edith’s headstrong nature, she probably should have known better. Edith hated working in the garden, so instead of pulling up the weeds, she pulled up all of the pepper plants. Atela was furious and threw her out of the garden, which was, of course, what Edith wanted all along.

I am working with my own daughter in our garden currently, planting flowers mostly. We don’t have enough space for a full on vegetable garden like we had at our previous house (we grew cucumbers and squash), though we may try our hand at herbs. She likes watering the flowers with her sky blue watering can. I do sometimes worry about her pulling up the flowers…she’s headstrong, too…

My son picking a cucumber from our garden, circa 2011
My daughter playing in our cherry blossom filled front yard, 2019