Teresa Russo Tarantino, Bronx, New York
Born in Villanova, Province of Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Teresa loves to be in her garden, she says, her face lighting up with a beautiful smile, because it reminds her of her mother. She, like so many of the Italian born gardeners, grew up in the garden, working side by side with their parents and siblings. Watching Teresa in her own garden, her familiarity and contentment are apparent as she moves with ease and agility, looking completely at home among the lush, green abundance.
Her garden is immense, filling most of the double residential lot in the Bronx where she lives with her daughter and her daughter’s family. Here she happily tends fig trees, grape vines, and rows of tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, eggplants and more. Teresa’s garden is such a pleasant place to be that even the plants seem pleased to be growing there.
Her infectious laughter and quick wit have us all in stitches when I ask to photograph one of the beautiful old tools that she still uses.