My husband and I are both gardeners, and we have a great system—I point and he plants. In the Amish culture, it doesn’t work that way; the garden is the responsibility of the wife. We like to look at them as we drive around the countryside. Some of them look plain and utilitarian—but in many cases, you can see the care that was taken to make the garden not just a food source, but a thing of beauty as well. Often there is a wide swath of flowers on the edge nearest the road or the house. I could show a hundred examples, but I’ll stick to three or four.
This first picture I took before I knew whose garden it was—and then when we passed the mailbox, I realized it was the parents of one of my friends. I like how it tucks in between the front yard and the trees.
This next one (below) belongs to a family named Weaver. I know this because when I stopped to admire it and take a picture, the woman who owned it was relaxing at a picnic table nearby, and we sat and talked for a while. She was pleased that I liked her garden and she didn’t mind my taking pictures of it. (The Amish themselves don’t pose for photographs, as it is against their religion.)
But my favorite garden is always my friend Ruth’s, shown below. She obviously has a gift for gardening, as well as an eye for beauty. Down the edge of the garden was a mix of perennials, roses, flowering shrubs. The red and pink flowers are poppies. She said that she’s already canned 50 quarts of strawberries and has told her grown children that the rest are theirs to pick. The soil is very sandy there, so she can grow potatoes and carrots, as well as sweet corn, tomatoes, strawberries, onions, green beans, and lots more.
I asked her how much time she spends in her garden in a typical week, but it was hard for her to say. I think she goes out there whenever the weather is good and she wants to get some sunshine and fresh air.