Lola in the Garden

Tito Ding with Coconuts

My aunt in Tampa and I were going through memory lane yesterday.

Here are pictures of my grandmother (Lola) in her Naples, Florida garden in 1988 with my cousins, four years after she moved permanently to the U.S., and later at Christmas time in 1999 with my aunt and uncle.  You can see a hint of her bountiful tropical fruit harvest from her garden, which I will always remember fondly from Christmases and vacations of my youth. You name it, she grew it.

Since Naples is in Southern Florida on the eastern side, on the Gulf of Mexico, the climate enabled Lola to cultivate crops that would grow where she grew up, in the Philippines.  Her backyard garden was truly uncanny.  Her hallmark was fruit trees.  I remember eating bananas, mangos, coconuts, oranges, chicos, grapefruit, papaya, and honestly many more fruits than I could name without first asking my aunt!  Atemoya, etc.

So much life and wisdom in one person.  I would later muse that she was a mystic in the garden, her gardening divine.  I am missing that garden now… Truly a mystical place!

Shayna Grajo