Blog Zinnias

I must have a dozen or so watering cans and I love using them to hold flowers every now and then. The problem is that they are so old that the seams are beginning to wear and the water leaks out. My DH would toss them out on the street since he thinks that they are no longer “good for anything.” They’re good to look at and that’s enough for me! And anyway, all you have to do is cut off the top of a 2 liter Coke bottle to hold the water – and they’re wonderful any time of the year! From heavy snowball viburnums in the spring, to heavenly blue hydrangeas in the summer, bright sunflowers in the fall and then branches of holly and pyracantha at Christmas – these old buckets have seen them all.

I used to have a wonderful old bucket found at a flea market years ago. I carried it in the car, digging up lilies along the road, tossing in pecans in the fall; using it for all sorts of handy things. It’s just a galvanized bucket but it was really old and you could tell that it had been used for no telling what. The handle was hand wrought and had a neat little twist on the top so it could be hung on a nail. Unfortunately that bucket disappeared shortly after we had the house painted. Thinking that one of the painters didn’t know that it was a very “special” one and just threw it up on the truck with all the other paint buckets.

So today I decided that it was time to head out and purchase a new bucket.  I drove about 3 miles up the road to a great old hardware store – Mt. Holly Farm Supply. And yes they had a plethora of galvanized buckets! I had my choice of about 6 different sizes. So hard to choose! What fun to have one in every size!!

With my new bucket sitting on the floor of the front seat, I headed off to a farm stand about 4 miles southwest of town. Some very smart enterprising person has planted a long line of zinnia seeds and she’s selling the blossoms by the stem.

It’s funny, I bought 3 packets of zinnia seeds months ago but never got that part of the garden cleared enough to put in the seeds. Eleven years ago, when our daughter got married at our old place at the beach, we put in a garden. I had seen this interesting variegated corn/grass looking plant along the road and thought it would look fantastic up against the house. Little did I know that the roots would find their way to China making it difficult to dig out and dang near impossible to kill. It’s actually called Japonica Striped Maize and although it’s pretty and looks very tropical – I can’t get rid of it!! I’ve tried boiling hot water by the gallon – nothing. I’ve tried Roundup – barely touches it. Oops – I digressed as usual!  Back to the bucket.

That long line of zinnias is such a pretty sight. Surely people coming around the corner see that and marvel at all the different bloom colors! I went over a week ago and the owner handed me a pair of scissors to cut what I wanted. Surely I am the only person cutting because there were so many already going to seed so I dead headed twice as many as I cut. Cutting your own is so different from buying them already cut at the farmer’s market. They last twice as long!

Today I was so excited because I was going to treat myself to a good BLT at the small Mom and Pop grill across the street from the farm stand before I cut flowers. Got to the grill and there was the owner standing in front of the locked door. I suddenly remembered that her family had all gone on vacation to the Gulf Shores area of Florida. She’d come home a few days early to just put her feet up and be still. You’d have to beat me to get me home from the gulf but I do know how she feels about being quiet and still. Doesn’t happen very often, does it?  I’m thinking it might be fun to be still while floating IN the gulf – how does that sound? I just introduced the thought to our girls that a vacation in Sanibel might be a fun thing to do someday. The water is a heavenly aqua and you can see your toes so it’s perfect for young children learning to swim – I learned to swim as a small child in Anna Maria on the gulf coast so lots of happy memories for me. The beaches are covered in shells so our crafty granddaughters will love “shopping” and the boys/men can fish or snorkel.  Hmm – how did I get here from zinnias and buckets? Somehow whatever I’m writing about leads my thoughts back to Florida. Must be a sign of getting older!

So no BLT but I did get a bucket full of gorgeous flowers! She stopped counting after she reached 30! And she didn’t mind that I left stacks of spent blossoms on the ground. I offered to rake them up but she was just glad that I’d done it so there’ll be plenty of new blooms coming in a couple of weeks. And you can bet that this new shiny bucket will be taking its place on the floor of the front seat for many more trips!

I’m hoping that some of you planted a row of zinnias this year. They say summer to me almost as much as Sweet 100 tomatoes on the vine! I don’t think it’s too late to try a few seeds and I’m hoping that the last blast of Roundup might have killed off the “corn”. So if you drive by an old white wooden house at the beach and see a long row of nodding zinnias – stop and cut a few! Bring your own bucket, ok?

Happy memory making,


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11 Responses to Blog: There’s a hole in the bucket …

  1. Tameka says:

    lololol Just reading the title I am singing the kid’s song… There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza. there’s a hole in the bucket…dear Liza a hole.

    We’ll fix it, we’ll fix it, dear Henry dear Henry… We’ll fix it, we’ll fix it, dear Henry we’ll fix it.

    With What shall I fix it, dear Liza dear Liza.

    Ahhhhhh the joys of having young children. Now that mine are practically grown, I must sing with my neice and nephew.

  2. Kaye Rhodes says:

    Love your Zinnias layout and the story! My mom always had zinnias in her summer garden. <3

  3. Karen says:

    As a child growing up on a family dairy farm, my grandfather always planted a row of zinnia’s at the edge of the garden along the driveway. What a show piece this was. We always had a bouquet of zinnia’s in the house and often the vase would be an old mason jar. Today my sister Ronda carries on the tradition at her home and garden. Thanks for the reminder of days gone by Anne.

    • Anne says:

      Love hearing this Karen. It seems like such a simple thing – throwing out a packet of seeds – but the joy that comes to those who can pick and those who are just driving by is priceless.

  4. Anita Albritton says:

    Such a beautiful page, Anne! And I just LOVE reading your blogs!!

  5. Sandy says:

    I have a packet of seeds that I never got around to planting. Just might have to do that tomorrow. I think I still have some time here in San Jose for them to grow.

  6. Beverly Goodrich says:

    We have some growing! So pretty and thanks for the reminder to go dead head them.

  7. Liz Propst says:

    Hope to be at the beach by Sept 10 at the very latest…..hope to see those flowers then, or at least eat a tomato with you!!

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