Last week on a quick trip to Lowes for some sandpaper for a project I’m working on, I picked up a hanging basket of zinnas for half off. The bright yellow-orange blooms were irresistible and I knew they’d add a pop of color to our still in progress front porch and lawn. We decided to hang them just outside the window above the kitchen sink which makes cleaning up after our meals a lot more fun. [smile]
I love zinnas. They are bright happy flowers and they remind me of my grandmother Bertha Nell, who I’ve always called “Mom.” Mom and Pop were my birding and gardening grandparents. Each summer without fail their mostly vegetable garden was decorated with several rows of zinnas, which my Mom called “zine-urs.” [smile] A tour of the garden plot was never complete without a walk around/thru the zine-urs that I remember being as tall and taller than me by the end of the summer. Mom always spoke with such pride about her zine-urs and rightly so her patch of the flowers rivaled any late summer garden spread in Southern Living Magazine.
When it was time for us to leave, Mom would always insist that we take a rainbow colored bouquet home along with as many ripe tomatoes as we could carry. Inspired by the bouquet whose stems were wrapped in wet paper towel and tin foil, Sarah, Rachel, and I would giggle about Mom’s extra syrupy Southern pronunciation of the colorful blooms for at least half the ride home. [smile]
Mom and Pop are still living but haven’t planted zine-urs for several years. They are now living in a graduated residential care community where they don’t have a garden plot. But even though I’ve not actually heard her say zine-urs in years Mom’s is the voice I hear in my head each time I look out my kitchen window at the basket of yellow-orange flowers greeting me.