Smart & Sustainable, Green Garden Design, Coaching & Seasonal Maintenance

Friday, June 18, 2010

Remembering Dad

The Backyard Farmer

My dad was really the gardener of the family ... my mom was his weeder. Like my Irish grampa before him, he was a backyard farmer.

froggy was in charge of the fish pond
We had a lanai in our backyard in Southern California. Dad took our modest single car garage and stenciled cowboys and cactus on the side of it ... bigger than life, bull-riding cowboys. He built a goldfish pond on the opposite side, a brick bar-b-que on the end,  and screened it in so we could eat outside without flies in the summer. We had an orchard behind the patio/lanai, where we had plums and apricots and avocados, corn and string beans. He built a 8' x 8' aviary for our parakeets, and before that, a 3rd bedroom for our little house (his dad was a carpenter, and every week his dad would send him written instructions for the next tasks to get that bedroom done). I grew up amazed at how much my dad knew.

I grew up with vegetables and fruit trees and bull-riding cowboys. When my husband and I bought our first (and only) house, I was, like, instantly a backyard farmer, too. My dad never saw this side of me, he died before this. I wonder what he would have thought about it all.

My dad had a quiet side. In the morning before work he'd watch the sun come up while he drank his coffee and listened to the farm report (he worked for the Dept. of Agriculture). He liked it quiet like that before everyone got up. At night he'd sit outside and look at the stars. Just look. One of the things I loved most about my dad was I could sit with him and be at peace without talking.
my dad's garden book - he had one, I have a million

My dad was smart, hardworking, creative, opinionated and authoritarian. He was a great story teller. I was born on his birthday, so he was also my twin. I could wrap him around my finger.

Happy Father's Day Everyone!

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Whether you need garden design, coaching, seasonal maintenance or planting, Geno's Garden can help! Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email


  1. Those are great memories! Thanks for posting them, it brought a tear to my eye.

  2. Very uplifting. I like the way you write -- with a lot of emotion. I tend to write the same way. I will link this to my posting for Father's Day (if I ever get around to it that is).


  3. A lovely tale ... you are indeed blessed!

  4. A sweet tribute, so touching Jeannie.

  5. That's great stuff right there.