Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Giuseppe’s garden in New York

Dad & me 2 WAYS TO ENLARGE! Click directly on the photo to enlarge in a pop-up, or click HERE to see this image, larger, in a new browser window.  
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Purrazzella

Today’s photos are from Linda Purrazzella in Southampton, New York. She says, “My father, Giuseppe, has always been the gardener in the family…not a green thumb but a golden one. Whatever he touched always grew, be it flowers or vegetables, whereas I struggled with keeping a cactus alive. A Sicilian immigrant, my dad was always connected to the land – his garden was his refuge. I chose, instead, an artistic path. For me, creating objects and making art has been my passion.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Purrazzella

“The last few years, though, my father’s abilities to garden have been diminishing – he’s turning 90 years old this June.  As a way to connect to my father in his later years and keep him in the garden he loves so much, I decided to try to help, to be his hands and brute force when needed so that he could continue to take pleasure in gardening. While he always had a functional approach to his vegetable garden, my patience and passion has turned to making his vegetable garden not only fruitful but also beautiful.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Purrazzella

“So under my dad’s direction, I began to learn his secrets and I found out that gardening is about creating something beautiful, just with a different medium. Still employing the elements of art I learned through my art–shape, line, texture, and contrast, my father’s garden began a journey of sharing and discovery, blending both of our passions.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Purrazzella

“As an artist I always admired the walkways of European gardens and the beauty in combining the hardscape of the stone with the softness of flowers and foliage.  So this past summer I designed a plan for our vegetable garden’s walkway incorporating stone mosaics. The first stone is completed and with each year a new stone will be added. For now, I have bluestones in their place.  The theme of the path is the “Vine”, inspiredby the shapes formed by the overlapping and intertwining of vegetable and flower vines.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Purrazzella

“In another place along a walkway, “Fishes in the Currents” was created as homage to the sea, since we live in Southampton, New York, and my father’s other passion is fishing. Placed in the front of the house, it is surrounded by plants that, as the spring and summer come, grow up and envelope the mosaic, creating a contrast once again of texture and color.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Purrazzella

I am now completely taken with waiting for the garden season to start. My second stone for the path will begin soon, just in time to walk upon it as we garden together again, sharing our memories and transferring knowledge gained through the generations.”

What amazing gifts you’re giving each other, Linda. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Purrazzella
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Linda Purrazzella

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View Comments


  1. paiya 02/27/2012

    Linda, your story of love and passion is a wonderful way to start this week. Thank you

  2. mms54 02/27/2012

    Linda, what a blessing you are in each other's lives! Thank you for sharing.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 02/27/2012

    Usually I start my day with cereal and some welling tears were added to the menu...what a heartwarming tribute to the bonds of family and gardening.
    Linda, your mosaic stones are beautiful and especially so because they are made with such love.
    Thank you for sharing the journey you are on.

  4. duckcovegardening 02/27/2012

    The tradition of gardening skills passing through each generation is a concept that is so inbred in our cultures, and the experience of many us who grew up with farmers in the family. How fortunate for Linda that she is able to take her father's lessons, provide the physical support and with her artistic skills and his vision are making a wonderful new garden. Combined they will build on the perfection of the past and make a garden that is everlasting. Thank you for sharing pictures of your collective gardening skills - I wish your Dad lived next door so I could see your garden in person!!

  5. shy_gardener 02/27/2012

    Linda, what a nice story. My dad passed away as a young man of 75. He too had a passion for gardening, transforming his small back yard into a rock garden and vegetable garden. (He did not see much use in grass!) We shared this hobby by trading and sharing plants. It is with fond memories when I walk my garden or his, at my mom's house. We did not always see eye to eye as I was growing up (now 50 something), but we found a commonality with gardening.

  6. siesperanza 02/27/2012

    Beautiful you both are as is your garden and fortunate as well.

  7. TeriCA 02/27/2012

    An absolutely beautiful way to share time with your father in his elder's wonderful and beautiful. I was just wondering...I see marigolds planted at the end of each row, is that helping with gopher control?

  8. terieLR 02/27/2012

    Happy 90th Birthday dear Giuseppe! It appears that spring will arrive earlier for us here in NY. May you celebrate much in your beloved vegetable and flower gardens together. Linda, thank you for the perfect example of connecting passions ~ connecting lives ~ family devotion and love. It's what you will draw strength from in years to come.

  9. Meg1941 02/27/2012

    I too am an artist turned gardener. Gradually the gardening became more important than painting, but as you know it is a wonderful combination. I hope I will be as lucky as your father to have one of our children become my hands.

  10. mosaicgardener 02/27/2012

    Your comments and compliments have given both me and my dad great pleasure...I surprised him with the posting this morning...Thank you all. It is the energy that flows within us and between us that is so powerful.

    The marigolds were planted originally for insect control...SInce the garden is enclosed with a fence on 3 sides, the other being the side of the house, we haven't had problems with animals. Had a big problem with earwigs though and potato beetles - Had to remove the mulch and replace it with mini pebbles to stem the tide.

    This blog has been a wonderful place to be inspired - Thank you MIchelle and everyone!

  11. sheilaschultz 02/27/2012

    Thank you Linda for starting our week with such a loving peek into your life. What a lucky woman you are to have the time to spend quiet and meaningful moments with your dad, playing in the dirt!

  12. soilgoil 02/27/2012

    Linda, your posting struck such a chord with me! My late father's name was Guiseppe, and he, too, was born in Italy. He expressed his creativity and love of gardening in a postage stamp-sized back yard in urban New Jersey. It was always the prettiest garden on the block, and even the front of our rowhouse was festooned with vines and overflowing flower boxes and containers. When I expressed an interest in gardening as a little girl, he shared a tiny plot of earth in which I could experiment. Gardening became a life-long passion for me, and I'm an artist, as well. While my dad and I were at odds much of the time, we were always bonded by a love of gardening, and I'm grateful for this wonderful gift he bestowed on me. Happy birthday, Guiseppe, and thank you, Linda, for sharing your beautiful story.

  13. BeautifulEarth 02/27/2012

    My Dad will turn 80 this year and I have to say, gardening with my (your) Dad at this junction of his journey is the most rewarding bonding experience ever!!! I am glad that we can share this time and it will forever be a gift to me. Enjoy the journey!!

  14. thegardenlady 02/27/2012

    Don't you know already that gardening IS an art-form? It uses color, form, texture, composition. I expect it comes naturally to you. The mosaics are fabulous, and I can imagine the completed walkway will be even more so. All of my family garden mentors died way too young. What a blessing an joys, you are receiving, such wonderful gifts from you dad. Covet every moment.Please give Giuseppe a warm hug. Learn everything you can from him.

  15. tractor1 02/27/2012

    Bittersweet and whimsy all in one human interest package wrapped in a garden of wonderful memories.

    My mom was my gardening angel since my first steps.

  16. pattyspencer 02/28/2012

    Beautiful story and beautiful mosaics!!

  17. greengrowler 02/28/2012

    Linda, your story is not only touching, but also stirs up beautiful memories in so many of us!. It seems we have a number of Italian-American gardeners in our group! My grandfather, also an Italian immigrant, kept a vegetable garden in his small row house in Pennsylvania. While he died before I was born, my father (his son) started me on my lifelong passion with a packet of zinna seeds to plant when I was about six years old. I can clearly recall those big (to my size) beautiful zinnas flourished in a sunny spot by our sidewalk in northern Virginia. Thank you so much for the memories!

  18. mosaicgardener 02/28/2012

    It seems the Italians really have a love of the earth and land, especially the immigrants who came here tried to recreate some of the natural beauty around them. The other tradition that my brother, sister and I have kept going is the fig tree. We have 3 fig trees that are over 8 ft tall...every fall, after the harvest, which where we are comes in end of Oct, we wrap it up in burlap, tar paper and plastic and put a bucket on its top! You always can know an Italian garden if it has a covered mound of plastic! My dad also grows persimmons - huge tree as well.

  19. KimberlyMcSparran 02/29/2012

    Dear LInda, What a wonderful article, beautifully written...your work is truly a labor of love. The mosiacs look gorgeous!!! Can't wait to see the new one. Your commitment to your family is a precious gift to all.

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