Monday, June 10, 2019

Roses and Cake and A Gardener


I was a mere 17 years old here in my father's rose garden, celebrating my birthday, even if I do appear to be a serious matron.

Is it the hairstyle or the dress or that I'm scowling into the sun? At least I had a waistline back then and the only one I'm willing to share here now on the www. 

That didn't keep me from wanting a birthday cake recently and this lemon bundt cake from Cook's Illustrated was yummy, even if I still miss the strawberry shortcakes that Mama made me every year on my big day. 




I still prop my birthday cards up somewhere for the whole month to enjoy as long as possible.




And RH gave me a rosebush for my birthday.



 We were surprised that there were no roses planted at this 1935 house when we moved here except for this huge wild one growing in the hedgerow with honeysuckle and blackberries.


Deer nibble on almost everything in our front yard so we haven't been able to decide where to plant roses since the back garden is pretty full now. 

I'll always love roses and associate them with my birthday and with my father who always had rose gardens.

RH reminded me recently about the time each spring when my father would have a special rose sale at his two garden centers. 


He ordered so many each year from a Texas grower that after they had filled all orders they'd offer Daddy a tractor trailer load of leftover bare root roses free if he'd pay the $250 freight bill.

RH remembers unloading them when they came in on Friday and on Saturday Daddy would have our local WENO country music radio station (now a gospel station) send out their mobile unit and it would broadcast live from the garden center, advertising 10 cent roses. 

 [newspaper photo with my father in the center,
my uncle on the left, brother-in-law on right,
and RH kneeling]

Cars would line up all up and down the road with customers for our traditional annual sale. Obviously there was no profit on the bare root roses but most people ended up buying so much else that it was well worth it, plus a lot of fun. 

Until the very end of his life my father always gardened. He had since he was a small boy helping his mother work in her flower and vegetable gardens while his older siblings helped his father on the farm, and he never let old age or illness stop him.

I know he's beautifying heaven's gardens today and making sure there will be plenty of roses there for my mother who loves them.



My father and I share birthday months and so I always think of roses on both our birthdays and birthday cakes--strawberry shortcake for me and sometimes German chocolate cake for him.

But mostly on his birthday I think of the best father four daughters ever had and the best gardener I ever knew.


Garden on, Daddy!

42 comments:

  1. What lovely memories, Dewena...and Happy Birthday!

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  2. Such a lovely post filled with many happy memories. Your family is truly special ❤️

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    1. Thank you, Doreen! I'm very blessed to have my family.

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  3. happy birthday dear one! No wonder you love roses so since they have special memories for you. My dad always bought my mother red roses for her anniversary. My husband carries on that tradition and buys me roses for every occasion. I've never had luck with rose bushes but last year I planted knock out roses and they have done well and are getting ready to bloom right now.

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    1. Thank you, Peggy! And this was a knock out rose too. I know they're just landscape roses but they are so faithful to bloom and I can see it outside our kitchen porch, next to the trash can, which needs beautifying.

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  4. I have missed your post Dewena. This one was lovely. My husband's birthday is June 17 and he loves Strawberry Shortcake and also German Chocolate Cake. Your lemon bundt cake looks wonderful.

    Such wonderful memories of your dad that you have. I am sure he is gardening in heaven - I believe gardeners do that. Enjoy your new rose - it is lovely. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Thank you for missing me, Sandra! I admit to reading yours during my blogging break but now I'll stop being lazy and leave comments again!

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  5. Happy Birthday. Beautiful post and beautiful memories. I will have to try that bundt cake.

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    1. Thank you so much, Betty! And I hope you do try the cake, especially if you love lemons as much as I do.

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  6. I love your rose memories and how they are tied to both your birthday and your dad. So very sweet! I've just started to learn how to grow roses, and I've nurtured/planted a few bushes but killed one with improper drainage. Learning . . . it goes on and on in life! Love your inspiration, and happy birthday to you!

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    1. Thank you, Leslie Anne! You probably have a good climate for roses, too. I was thinking about you the other day when I was watching a blog friend on youtube and her husband mentioned that he was going to Fairhope that weekend to speak at a high school graduation there where he used to teach. I automatically wondered if he knew you.

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  7. What a beautiful post! Happy birthday!

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  8. Dewena, I loved this post. I like hearing about your special cake and birthdays. I really love reading about your dad's gardening and rose sales. So wonderful. Happy birthday . Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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    1. Thank you so much, Susie! It was so much fun for me to share these old memories.

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  9. Belated Happy Birthday dear Dewena! Loved this interesting post. That lemon cake looks so yummy. Your new rose bush is lovely.

    Love & hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Thank you, dear Flower Lady! I thought about you while I was writing this post because to me you are The Rose Lady!

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  10. Great memories of your dad Dewena. How sweet to have such wonderful memories. I bet your dad has the most beautiful rose garden in Heaven. Have a wonderful week.
    xoxo
    Kris

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    1. Thank you, Kris! My sisters and I bet he does too, maybe with the closest competition coming from his brothers. But then, there will be no competition in heaven, will there?

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  11. It's so good to have you back! Happy belated birthday! It is lovely to share the stories of your father's hard work and love of gardens and family. So many men of the times bygone had a difficult time showing love. Your cake looks delicious.

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    1. Thank you so much, Madame! It is good to be back, so good that I can't help wondering why in the world I stayed out so long. Of course there were those 3 weeks that my laptop was down and from now on I will immediately take it to the nice people at the Apple Store to get it repaired.

      Yes, men from my father's generation often did have trouble showing their love. My cousins and I were so lucky in that their mother raised five loving sons.

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  12. Happy Birthday my dear friend.... albeit belated! You were born two days earlier than my mom and in fact I'm off to her house for the celebrations today. Your pop sounded like a really sweet man and he looked like one too :)

    Love to you,
    rue

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    1. Thank you, dear Rue! I was the one late with the birthday post as my birthday was last month, not June, but I just couldn't get my act together to post sooner.

      Thinking of you, Rue, as you and John mourn the loss of a dear fur baby.

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  13. I'm so glad to see you back to blogging, Dewena! This post was full of precious memories. Happy belated birthday! I wish I had shelves in my kitchen like you do where I could display cards...I'm afraid I have nowhere to put them but on my fridge.

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    1. Thank you so much, Melanie, it's so good to be back!

      I know, we've tried to toss ideas around for a shelf in your kitchen before. It would free up more cabinet space for you but it just doesn't work out, does it? And your kitchen is so pretty just the way it is now.

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  14. Hello,
    Sweet memories.. I love reading about other gardeners. :-) Your dad sounds like a special fella indeed.
    Happy Birthday!
    Love, Carla

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    1. Thank you, Carla! My father would have enjoyed seeing your garden!

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  15. Happy, happy birthday, Dewena! I hope it's a wonderful year ahead for you. I too like setting out my birthday cards all month. Your cake looks amazing. I'd also be enjoying a slice of German chocolate cake with your dad. There really is nothing like a slice of nice cake to feel celebratory. Julia Childs was right -- a party without cake is only a meeting.

    Wishing you a beautiful day...
    Brenda xox

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    1. Oh Brenda, I love the July Child cake quote! My feelings exactly! And thank you for the birthday wishes too.

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  16. Happiest of birthdays to you, Dewena! May you be richly blessed in your new year! I love that you and your dad share a birthday month, and the story of his garden center. My dad has always had a rose garden, too, and even now that he is in a smaller patio home, he has dedicated to roses and they are gorgeous. It is something we have in common, even though I'm not nearly as successful as he is. The photo of you is beautiful (I miss my waistline, too!) and though you may wonder if you look matronly (i don't think so!) I miss the times when 17-year-old girls dressed stylishly and were more grown up.

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  17. I really like that picture of you when you were 17, Dewena. The brick house in the background and the roses makes it such a charming photo. The lemon bundt cake looks amazing with all that icing dripping on the sides. Your rose bush is such a pretty color. I didn't know your dad was a gardener. My dad also had a garden, but grew vegetables and fruits. That is a nice photo of all the men in your life. These treasured photos just make me smile, as they have so much history about them.

    It's getting hot here and Summer has begun. Just trying to stay cool from the heat. Not my favorite season. Wishing you sweet Summer days, Dewena. And Happy Birthday. I remember we are both May gals. : )

    love, ~Sheri

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  18. What a lovely tribute to your dad, Dewena. A very happy birthday to year, with wishes for a wonderful year ahead!

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  19. Wonderful post and pictures and i loved reading about your dad the gardener. Happy birthday to you!

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  20. These memories of your daddy are so precious, Dewena. He's surely beautifying the heavenly gardens with his special touch. I enjoyed the photos and your reminiscing. I read the earlier post about your dad, too. The note on the back of the business card was so touching. What a remarkable man. Thank you for sharing him with us. Hugs, Nancy

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  21. I love this beautiful pic of you, Dewena!! Doesn't matter when or WHERE, whether it was decades ago or in photos, flaunt that waistline, woman!

    Such precious memories of your dad, a dear husband and father, with a heart of gold, movie star looks, and a great green thumb! He reminds me of Cary Grant! Was he ever told such a thing?

    The strawberry shortcakes and German chocolate cakes that your mother baked for your birthdays both sound delicious, and I'm certain they were, as you miss them so much. But I'm sure that your own lemon bundt cake was just as scrumptious from the looks of your pic.

    I so enjoyed this sweet, heartfelt tribute to your dad, my friend. Thank you for sharing these cherished photos and memories.

    Poppy

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  22. What a lovely post, Dewena. Your father sounds like a wonderful man. Love the story about the roses for 10 cents! I say a definite Hurrah for keeping birthday cards up for the month - we do the same around here.
    The birthday cakes all sound delicious. I hope you're having a most lovely Sunday.

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  23. Oh, and belated Happy Birthday!

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  24. Happy Birthday, dear Dewean! So nice to share your memories, wouldn't have minded sharing your cake as well :-) My grandmother used to make my birthday cake when I was little - a sponge cake with fruit nicely arranged on it and then jello on top. And looking at the fruit through the jello was the best part.
    Amalia
    xo

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  25. Dewena, do you suppose it's an age thing? I leave my cards up for, sometimes, more than a month! Your waist looks like it could rival Scarlott's and I still like the dress. Happy BIG Birthday!
    Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm

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  26. Beautiful photos. Happy birthday.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  27. Oh Dewena! Talk about a perfect blog post. Loved it! Your photos and stories were the absolute sweetest things and now I feel like I had real visit with you. Thank-you and oh! I've been meaning to get over here and tell you I was so sorry to hear about your knee/leg problem. By now I'm hoping your PT (and God) have done wonders with your healing! Again, thanks for sharing such a sweet post with us all. Blessings, Debra

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RH and I love your comments! They are sent to my email for moderation first but I do hit publish as soon as I read them. A few commenters' comments are not sent to my email for some reason but I try to visit that section on my design page twice a day to see if they're hiding there so I can publish them. I went the first 3 years of blogging not knowing that was there and when I discovered it there were many pages of old comments that never got published. I was so embarrassed and contacted recent ones but hid in shame from those who had given up long ago.

In these busy days I appreciate so much when you take time to comment. Thank you so much!

Dewena