A favorite pastime of mine is looking though my prized family photo albums at sepia tinted pictures of my ancestry.  This trait comes from my grandma.  My grandma and I would look through her photo albums and she would narrate everyone’s stories for me.  (I know we did this a lot in the summer when she was most likely watching my sister and I while everyone else was in the field during harvest.) 

I remember one particular picture of my paternal great-grandmother.  She’s standing in a huge field of zinnias somewhere near Rocky Ford, Colorado.  The colors are a bit garish and I am sure the photo faded over time.   It must have been taken in the late 50’s or early 60’s.    Looking back, this is the image that stood out.  In this photograph, she is surrounded by zinnias of all colors; they take up the entire frame of the picture.  Although she was a fairly large woman, she’s just a frail speck in the center of this massive field of Kodachrome color.

I have just searched through my stock of family photo albums and cannot find it.  I guess someone else in the family inherited this one picture. 

In late winter of every year, I eagerly search through the plethora of plant catalogs that arrive in the mailbox.  I look for newly introduced flowers and I order as many as possible, except for this year.  I had decided that with the new greenhouse, I would propagate lots of old fashioned geraniums for the front flower bed and rely on the established perennials to fill in the rest of the beds. 

So this year, I started quite a few red geraniums, waited for the cone flowers and rudbeckia to emerge and for the zinnias to reseed.  I love the wild, cottage look of the flowerbeds now.

It is a start.

It makes me want to plant an entire field of zinnias.

Note:  I just sent out a few emails to family to begin my search for this photo of Great-Grandma.  My aunt emailed me back and told me she would look for it.  She also told me that my great-grandma and her husband had leased this field to a seed company.    She remembers visiting them after the seed company had culled the zinnias and that my grandma went out and gathered bouquet after bouquet of flowers the company had simply left on the ground.  I had never heard that story. 

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