Hello fellow readers, I enjoyed sharing stories of garden blessings with Rosemary DeTrolio while visiting her garden in Hope, NJ—a serene plot of vegetables and flowers planted by an extraordinary lady whose calling is to help others grow their spirit. As the owner of Hands of Light by Rosemary, she’s a Reiki Master teacher, angel communicator, and intuitive,” says the About the Author page in her book Divine Messengers.
Visiting Rosemary’s garden of blessings
Rosemary and I share in common participating in 4H as kids. And a love of sunflowers. She has a grouping of Mammoth Sunflowers (Helianthus giganteus) rising above the glory of her kitchen garden below. The giant heirloom can grow to 12 feet tall with flowers about a foot wide. “My grandchildren like to see them. Every time they come, they’re a foot taller.”
I shared the story about Grandpa, a dairy farmer by trade. He lived with us for his last years; until the ripe age of 93. A favorite memory is how he hand-dug and sat vigil in his vegetable garden graced with sunflowers watching overhead (my addition). He’d make fun of the silliness of sunflowers “that attract birds that will feast on the tomatoes.” His way of bonding with me as he sat in the shadow of the majestic plants.
Rosemary’s grandfather was a gardener too. She described his 8-foot plot in the city-like town of Lodi, NJ, chockfull of fruit trees, roses, and vegetables such as cabbage, tomatoes, and basil. “It was a wonderful feeling to go there. He would pick something we’d have for dinner or on our pizza that grandma cooked. It was really nice.”
I adored hearing about how she starts her garden each spring by sitting with her new plants and feeling where they want to live in the space. And how she encourages feathered friends to manage insects by situating bird houses nearby.
“I drop a zucchini and run.”
Among her vegetables, grapes and strawberries are a profusion of flowers to encourage pollinators to do their part in bringing the bounty—more than they can use. I laughed when she shared that her neighbors hid from her. “I think because I drop zucchini and run from their house.”
Rosemary fell in love with gardening because of an elderly neighbor named Joe, who had an apple tree with three or four kinds of apples grafted on one tree.
“He was a great gardener and had all these beautiful vegetables. So I asked him to teach me how to garden, and he taught me about using manure. So that year, my mother and I went to the garden store and came home with 100 pounds of poop.” (Hopefully, bagged manure :^)
“My father was hysterical– You don’t need 100 pounds. You only have a 10-foot plot.”
The story of a hidden watermelon with a surprise:
As the garden tour ended, Rosemary spoke of a watermelon with a surprise. Later she sent me a photo and this beautiful story.
‘Sometimes blessings are well-hidden. I threw a watermelon seed down in my garden, not expecting it to grow. Then one summer day, to my surprise, a cute sugar baby watermelon sat nestled under green leaves, lying in wait for me to notice the blessing.
My garden reminds me of life’s blessings and difficulties. The weeds represent problems, issues, and grudges I need to pull out. If I let the weeds take over, they’ll strangle out the blessing and bounties trying to emerge.
The second blessing happened when I cut into the sugar baby melon. A pink winged angel shape appeared in the middle of the yellow watermelon center! Some people find Jesus in toast; I found an angel inside the watermelon.’
Thank you, Rosemary, for sharing your garden and gifts.
Garden Dilemmas? AskMaryStone@gmail.com (and on your favorite Podcast App.)
There’s more to the story, including tidbits of the interview with Rosemary in Episode 67 of the Garden Dilemmas Podcast.
For more about Rosemary DeTrolio: Hands of Light by Rosemary
Link to a previous column on the Birds & the Bees of Zucchini Flowers and The History of 4-H
How to grow 4 in-1 Apple Trees
Thank you so much, Mary! I loved sharing my garden and my business with you.
Such a joy to visit with you Rosemary- thank you for sharing your gifts and your garden. Many Blessings, Mary
Thank you Mary! That was a delightful conversation. Rosemary had sent me your podcast, she is a friend of mine in a group we belong to in health and wellness. It was a delight hearing about Rosemary’s garden, I’ve not heard her bring that up before.. And you were a delight to listen to. I am in the process of beginning to set up a patio garden. So I will definitely be referring to you, and also I will be sending this to my daughter who has just this year started her Garden in her yard. Very delightful! And very inspiring! I am so relating to your planting, it’s bringing new ideas for me and my business. I am a spice blending herbalist , I blend spices for different health issues. And the correlation of the flowers and the plants, and the spices in the flowers in the spice plants. Is all such a wonderful world. Thank you so much, Fran
Thank you for your kind note Fran and for tuning into the story. Your business of healing through herbs sounds fascinating. Indeed our gardens can help heal and grow our lives. Thank you for sharing, Mary