top of page

Musings About Family, Travel And Gardening With Allen Martinson.


Aw Heck

AS I AM ON A FLIGHT To Atlanta with Mimi and Mark to search the mar- ket for the things that will define our store this year I have a moment to ponder the past year and the year that is ahead of us. I think about all the nice things that people say to me about these articles. I’ve received some nice letters from fellow gardeners and fellow travelers that tell me about some of their fascinating stories. I received boxes of National Geographic magazines, and offers to contribute things to our garden. One reader brought a box full of books for me to read in hopes that one day I will slow down and write a book. I’ve been gifted with a cake, a pie and some cookies.

I am honored and feel egged on enough to ramble on for another year. I hope that my ramblings are enough to share some tricks to make your time in your space a little easier and more fun. I hope that if someone needs some inspiration to get out there and do it, whatever “it” is I’ve helped. I hope someone gets some laughs out of some of mine and Mimi's capers. I’ve endured more scoldings and finger wagging at me for “making” Mimi go along on some of these crazy adventures than I care to count. If you know Mimi you know she flies her own jet, I’ll admit she has drawn the line at some of my ideas.

We plan these things together, the planning and preparing are probably the funnest parts of the whole thing. We look forward to the time when we can take more and longer trips but we also love to be home, we just love being with each other.

There is a John Prine song called Aw Heck. I used to sing this song to her when we were still courting. She thought I made the words up until one day we were putting down the highway in my 1966 Volkswagen van when the song came over the radio. Her giant eyes got even bigger. I just smiled and shrugged my shoulders. I had an opportunity to tell John Prine about that moment when we got backstage with him one night. He looked her up and down and said, “dang boy, looks like you owe me one!”

The song goes like this:

I could be as happy as a sardine in a can

Long as I got my woman

I could run stark naked and live in an old oak tree

Just as long as she’s with me

My woman.

The cannibals could catch me and fry


Long as I got my woman

I could get the electric chair for a

phony rap

Long as she’s sittin’ in my lap

My woman.

I’d run a mile, just to see her smile And put her lovin’ arms around my


Aw heck

My spine gets to tingling, and bells start a ringling

When she’s with me, can’t you see.

They could torture me and stretch me like a rubber band

Long as I got my woman

I could jump off a cliff and never have no fear

Just as long as she is near

My woman.

I know it’s a little crude but it really

sums up our relationship, what a fun ride.

We plan to have more adventures in our yard and in other places on this planet this year. I plan to tell you about them since it seems to bring some joy to some people to read all about it.

ONE OF OUR FAVORITE families, we know through our kids going to school together, shopping at Garden Works, and visits to each other’s gardens to offer each other ideas and inspirations, sent a beautifully penned letter to us reminding us of our organic friendships. The letter contained a poem that expresses so well the work that must be done in the background to create the Glory. The old poem by Rudyard Kipling, entitled “The Glory Of The Garden.” Although it talks of England, it could be anywhere. Scotland, Mississippi or Timbuktu. That’s what puts gardeners of any level, anywhere in a unified space. The trials and tribulations of gardening, the wins and the losses speaks a universal language.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we enjoyed receiving this from our gardening family.

Our England is a garden that’s full of stately views,

Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,

With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by,

But the glory of the garden lies in more than meets the eye,

For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,

You will find the tool and potting sheds which are the heart of all,

The cold frames and the hot houses, the dungpits and the tanks,

The rollers, carts and drainpipes, with the barrows and the planks,

And there you’ll see the gardens, the men and ‘Prentice boys’

Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise,

For except when the seeds are planted and we shout to scare off the birds,

The Glory of the garden it abideth not in words,

And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,

And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows,

But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,

For The Glory Of The Garden occupieth all who come,

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made

By singing- “Oh how beautiful” and sitting in the shade,

While better men than we go out and start their working lives,

At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives,

There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,

There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick,

But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done.

For the glory of the garden glorified everyone.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,

If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders,

And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,

You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the garden,

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees

That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees,

So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray

For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!

And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!

132 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page