Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Grandpa C.

"Whatever a man's age, he can reduce it several years by putting a bright-colored flower in his buttonhole."--Mark Twain

When I saw this quote in a book recently, it immediately made me think of my Grandpa Camplejohn. When I was growing up, he came over several times a week to our house for dinner, and in the spring and summer he would often arrive with a rose pinned to his shirt or jacket. He loved flowers all his life and, in my memory, had a glorious garden full of vegetables and roses, pansies, and hollyhocks. My earliest memory of gardening is at his house, where I would pick little bouquets of pansies and put them in a glass jar on the back porch for my grandparents.  He planted pansies along the borders of his garden and I always plant pansies today because of him. I loved his hollyhocks which bloomed along the side of his house and which you could see from the dining room windows. I have tried and tried for years to grow hollyhocks because of him, but with limited success. I like to think about him when I am gardening, I like that continuity.

I was lucky to get my Grandpa's gardening book and a gardening basket he used, too. I love looking through the gardening book (Better Homes & Gardens New Garden Book, copyright 1951) and seeing the scraps of paper, lists, and newspaper articles he had kept inside. I had totally forgotten he had clipped an article about growing paperwhites in the winter! I love coincidences like that, here I am growing paperwhites 60 years later. I keep my gardening gloves in his garden basket. I'm lucky to come from a family of gardeners. My mom and dad both enjoyed working in a garden and my dad really got interested in it after his retirement, starting his vegetables from seed and making compost that was the envy of any gardener. Both my sister and brother are gardeners. I'm hoping it continues down the line!

We all loved his handwriting!
He was interested in Paperwhites!

His list of tomato varieties to try
Grandpa C's garden basket


  1. Great post, Patsi, it brings back lots of good memories of him, his house, and of course gardens. One cannot forget his wonderful handwriting either. biff

  2. Love the comments about Grandpa. I never saw the yellow roses pix...but loved his rose garden