"Garden Gal" was made by Kenner from approximately 1972 to 1973. There were several different styles available with different hair colors and clothing. They are 7 inches tall and are marked on their back with the following:
Their right arms were bent and their hands were in a curved shape so they could hold a tiny watering can. They also came with seeds, small peat moss circles and a tiny flower pot in which to grow your flowers. I've also seen sets which came with a tiny greenhouse and an additional outfit (yellow long dress with an orange print). Pictured below is a blond "Garden Gal" in her red body suit and denim overalls. Her tiny white boots are painted on. She originally carried a yellow watering can.
Here are the red-head and brunette "Garden Gals" also in their original outfits (minus their watering cans).
The blond Garden Gal pictured above is my original doll from my childhood. I believe I received her on Easter 1973 from my Uncle Joe and Auntie Lina. I remember my father helping me plant the marigold seeds she came with in the tiny pot. When they grew big enough, we transplanted them near the fence alongside my grandmother Nonna's driveway (we lived on the other side of her two family house at the time). I remember they grew into the prettiest little bunch of red/orange/yellow marigolds. That was the first time I'd ever seen something grow from a seed to a full grown plant.
When we moved to our new house the following year. My father started a vegtable garden in the backyard. Every year he would start the tomato, lettuce, zucchini, and other vegtable plants from seeds in tiny trays that often sat in our bathroom windowsill or in our garage under a set of lights. He was very meticulous about the whole process. He would then move the small plants into the garden where they would produce vegtables for the entire summer. We often canned the tomatoes which my mother used throughout the year to make spaghetti sauce.
Although my father grew many plants over the years, I always remembered when we first planted those marigolds that came with the "Garden Gal". Last Christmas eve when I was discussing my plans to build this website, I mentioned the many stories I had about my dolls, and specifically remarked on my Garden Gal memory. I had often searched for Garden Gals on eBay and occasionally saw the blond doll for sale, but never any others. That night, I logged on and saw a listing for the brunette and red-head pictured above. I never even knew these versions existed! No one had bid on them, so I did. On Christmas morning (also my father's birthday), I woke up and found I had won the dolls without any other bids against me. I often think that perhaps my father sent them to me from heaven as a Christmas gift (silly I know, but that's what I think). Since then I have never seen these two dolls offered together in one listing on eBay (especially in their original outfits). So I think I was very lucky indeed.
I will never come close to the perfection of my father's garden, but today at my own home I plant many flowers. I often think of my father as I water them and remember how I first learned how plants grew. Below are some pictures of the flowers in my yard this past summer. I guess you can say I grew up into a real life "Garden Gal".
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