Mother’s Green Thumb

by chuckofish

Our mother loved to garden and she was good at it, too. I suspect she also enjoyed the solitude; no one ever helped her garden and it was usually too buggy to sit with her by our tiny fish pond. But we did accompany her on her many visits to Westover Greenhouse, a vast plant nursery on Olive Street Road not a far drive from home, but in an area we had little cause to visit otherwise. To this young dual personality, Westover’s meant adventure. I loved exploring the endless, dripping greenhouses.

westover3It was like wandering through a giant, leafy mansion in which every room had a different style decoration. In one there might be pretty flowers; in another succulents.

westover6If you followed the melodious sound of dripping water, eventually you’d find tucked into a corner a little pond full of carp and water plants.

westover8The damp heat could be oppressive, but I found the rich, earthy smell of the place intriguing. Since I was just a little girl, the flower beds were at shoulder height  so I could peer over the top and spy on other shoppers. Okay, I grew over the many years we visited the place, but that’s how I remember it best. I think my incessant running around and disappearing drove my poor mother to distraction, but we didn’t stop going. As far as I know, Westover closed many years ago. I could find no trace of it on the internet, so all these pictures are of other places. So it goes…

As soon as I finish this post I’m off to the Potsdam Garden Club’s annual plant sale. It takes place in the hockey arena and no doubt won’t be quite as heady as the Westover visits of my childhood. Still, it’s spring and time to get working in the yard. This year, with the help of a friend, I’m going to plant a flower garden. I think mother would approve, don’t you?