It’s officially spring for me when I get petunias. I absolutely love petunias…the colors, the smell. I don’t claim a green thumb, but, I can grow some nice petunias at my house.

Somebody told me years ago the secret to good petunias is keeping them pinched back. I’m so obsessive about pinching back petunias, I find myself in public places, where they may not be so well tended like on Church St. in Downtown Nashville or at the YMCA where we swim every summer, pinching them back if they need it. People probably think I’m nuts.

Impatiens are another good flower that are as tough as they come. They like shade and lots of water. I’ve had years where I’ve had impatiens near about as tall as my youngest son. The dogs like the impatien garden too. Last year, they made it one of their favorite laying spots in the yard. Needless to say, my impatiens last year weren’t that tall or quite as pretty as I’ve had them in years past.

Mr. Smiff thinks it’s silly for me to bother planting anything in the ground because the dogs go right to it and either step on them, lay on them or dig them up, just for kicks. Even so, I feel the need to plant something every spring. It’s kinda like what Ouiser said in “Steel Magnolias”. She planted tomatoes every year because she was an “old, Southern woman” and we just feel the need to plant stuff every year.

One thing I will not be planting this year is tomatoes. We claim to love homegrown tomatoes at our house, but, they sit in the window sill til they rot and the gnats become a problem. We’ll just get our Homegrowns this year from my brother in law’s garden or Farmer’s Market.

Guy Clark was so right when he said that the only two things that money can’t buy are true love and homegrown tomaters. Well, you can buy them, but, there is something special about picking them out of your yard, bringing it in and making a tomato sandwich on white, Wonder bread and Hellman’s mayonnaise.

On second thought, I think I will plant me a tomato plant or two.

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