14 Things I Love, Happy Valentine’s Day

14 Things I Love, Happy Valentine’s Day

Today is all about the love! Since today, February 14th, is a day that people have come to associate with all things love, I thought it would be appropriate to give you my top 14 countdown to things I love. I love many things, knitting, card making, yarn, cooking, etc., etc. I’ll try to reign the love in for this blog and only talk about my gardening loves. Without further ado.

Top 14 things the Paisley Carrot loves:

#14 Napa, California

I happen to have been born in the most beautiful place on earth, in my humble opinion. This is a place where, let’s face it, if you plant it, it will grow. So this is where the roots of a garden addicted girl got started. And what a good place to start!

This brings me to my next love. Also from Napa by way of my grampa Wilson…

#13 Camellias

My first plant obsession. My grandparents house was flanked on three sides by gorgeous Camellia bushes. I lived with my grandparents for a few years when I was at an impressionable age. One day when I came home from school, I found the gardener hacking away at my beloved Camellias. I was mortified! My grampa Wilson intervened and from that time on, the only person allowed to touch the Camellias was me! I don’t think Manuel cared much one way or another, but I filled their house with Camellia blossoms for the three to four months they would bloom. Years later my grampa Wilson told my aunt that while I was there was the happiest the house ever was. Awww….

My planting obsession continued on in my teens and twenties and evolved to include…

#12 African Violets

A dear friend, Marguerite Hogg gave my my first african violet when I was a young (very young) bride living in El Dorado, AR. I loved everything about them, even that they are fussy and can be difficult and sometimes get what is the equivalent to “the vapors”. I loved my violets so much that I carried them on my lap for the fifteen hour trip from Arkansas to Lake Jackson, Texas when we moved, not trusting them with anyone else.

Come to find out, carrying plants on your lap across country is nothing new or extraordinary.


Zepherine Droughin Roses

These antique roses were brought across the country by a homesteading wife in 1810! They are a mannerly climbing rose that heavily flowers year after year with the most intoxicating bourbon true rose scent. Add to that the canes are nearly thorn free, and you have the perfect rose for archways and trellised gates. You have no worries about the kiddos getting poked or skewered with these beauties by the playground. I plant a Zepherine Droughin at every house I live, and I give them to friends and relatives as gifts. If you haven’t met this gorgeous specimen yet, please do make her aquaintence. You won’t be sorry.

#10 The Antique Rose Emporium, Independence, Texas

You can get your Zepherine Droughin rose at the Antique Rose Emporium. My family has been going to the Antique Rose Emporium for the last 18 years. Every year we make a trip to see and take pictures in the Bluebonnets and we spend a day at the Antique Rose Emporium in Independence, TX. I do mean we spend the entire day here. There is a “Peter Rabbit” garden, a water garden, six or seven formal rose gardens, a yellow brick road maze, a restored prairie one room school house, a gazebo, a place for picnics, a dry goods store, a old time drug store and so much more, I must just stop! A rose lovers dream, a photographers paradise, it’s a place where you feel it is your own “Secret Garden” My daughter even wants to have her wedding there (many, many years from now).

Have I convinced you? Antique Rose Emporium, Independence, TX. It’s a good thing!

#9 What’s old is new. Heirloom tomatoes are my number nine thing to love.

I love that my great grandparents may have grown a tomato that looked and tasted like the one I’m growing now. I love that I can pass on the seeds from my garden to my kids and grand kids. I love that we can preserve a piece of the past and know that we are influencing the future. I love how they taste!

Closely related to the above…

#8 Growing Cucumbers

I love the way the vines will arch toward the sun, I love the zillions of tiny yellow flowers that turn in to zillions of delicious sweet fruits. I love the varieties from the round yellow or white to the intensely green two foot long big daddies to the old standard straight eights. I love to grow, eat, pickle, and talk about cucumbers!

#7 Baker Creek Seeds

I love that the Gettles had a dream and now they live that dream. I love that I can trust that the seeds I get from them will be GMO free and certified organic. I love that they can answer any questions I have, sometimes before I have them. I love that they are keeping the family run farm viable and strong. I love the selection, and I love Love LOVE their catalog!


#6 Compost

I love that in a real, tangible way we can take what would otherwise be dumped in a landfill and turn it in to food for our plants. How cool is that? I can’t buy a hybrid yet, but I can compost.

#5 I love to grow old, little known, unusual and sometimes downright strange varieties in my garden. Gardens can be fun, but gardeners can be boring. There is nothing snooty or mundane about my plant selection. If it’s fun, I’ll try it. Make mine paisley, please! White eggplants? Sure! Green Zinnias? Of course! Orange melons? Absolutely!

#4 I love themed gardens. They challenge the imagination and sweep out cobwebbed corners of memories. You can choose any theme that strikes your fancy. Patrick has a “Green Garden” every plant in it is green. Green dock, parsley, Envy Zinnias, Green Zebra tomatoes, Raveena green eggplant and Mexican Sour Gherkins. I have had salsa gardens, Pesto and pizza gardens, and an Anne of Green Gables garden. You are limited only by your space and your imagination. That kind of rocks.

#3 Delicious, healthy food for my family. I love to bake bread. Now that I can garden, I love to use the many healthy, organic, treasures I grow in my gardens to incorporate in my kitchen concoctions. Last year we feasted on homemade
Rosemary bread, oregano and basil pizza made with sauce made from home grown tomatoes. I brought Caprese Salad to Thanksgiving dinner with my extended family and gave homemade pesto as gifts at Christmas. My family felt like they had been indulged with such a rich treasure when in actuality it was all we could afford at the time. I have made soap with lavender and roses from my gardens that rivals any gourmet soap companies wares.  Gardening and cooking…a marriage made in heaven!

#2 Speaking of marriage…my number 2 thing I love is my family. My husband is a great supporter, pruner, mower, digger, sounding board and procurer of manure. I asked for two bags…he brought me six. He loves me! He really  loves me! My kids (all four) are helpful and creative. Jonathan (14), is a great gardener in the making. He is always willing to water, weed, harvest or spread compost when needed. He also has great ideas for long term growth. It was his idea to start a worm business and he makes the worm tea. Patrick (8) is helpful in many ways. He has an active imagination that is not hindered in the least by what grown ups label “reality”. He has unfathomable energy and is always eager to help. My two oldest, Ryan (20) and Meghan (19) are great to bounce ideas off of and lend a hand when school and work schedules allow.

This is Patrick in the garden…love!

Without further ado…

#1 God

He is so good. He gives us what we need, and sometimes what we want. He delivers our daily bread and allows us to make it when we are willing and able. He does not give us a stone when we ask for bread. He is the creator, the perfect father. God is love.

I pray for you a love filled to the rim and overflowing, paisley day!



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