It is appropriate that I spent a few very enjoyable hours after work this afternoon working on the garden, and even more appropriate that I was busy planting tomatoes. Gardening wouldn't be such a passion of mine if it weren't for my dad. When I was very young, he took me on walks through gardens in Slater Park in Pawtucket, RI.
Many years later, the favor was returned when I sparked in my dad an interest in growing heirloom varieties in his little garden in Rhode Island. His favorites were Cherokee Purple and Cherokee Chocolate, and he grew them beautifully. For a handful of years leading up to his passing, he would start seeds I sent him, or grow the plants I mailed him. He kept a diary, which I wasn't aware of, documenting his garden successes, and it is something I treasure.
So, dad, happy birthday....when I am out working in the garden, you are beside me, giving me advice and sharing gardening stories. As they say, I owe it all to you!