Growing up, I was not at all interested in gardening. My father always had a vegetable garden, and he loved growing weird things like kohlrabi and shoepeg corn. My grandmother loved getting her hands dirty; she grew beautiful roses and poppies.
One time as an adult I threw some pot seeds out the back door and ended up transplanting a pretty incredible plant into the basement under a grow light. They call it "weed" because that's how it grows – like a weed.
My third husband was a back-to-the-land wannbe, and we had several raised-bed gardens, but again – they were his, not mine.
I guess it took all this time to meet the right mentors and to be open to the possibility of me actually being a gardener. I started several years ago with perennial beds, and three years ago dug up a large area for vegetables. Two years ago I doubled that space. It's just the right size to provide almost a year's worth of tomatoes, garlic, pickles and green beans for my husband and myself, along with several months' worth of squash, edamame, onions and okra. Oh, and the annual New Year's Day serving of Hoppin' John. (Seriously, black-eyed peas are easy and fun to grow, and I'm willing to "spend" a row of space on them just because they're so cool-looking.)
In the last couple years I've added two more large perennial beds, filled in the planters in front of the house, created an herb bed, planted strawberries and blackberries and am right now looking at three apple trees, all in bloom.
|Here's the view from the break "room."|
|Papyrus, a likely candidate |
for the "thriller" part
of the thriller/filler/spiller
combination in an outdoor
And my job is not always about getting my hands dirty. I'm on a mission right now to find or create a daily sales report that will meet their needs. I do advertising and marketing for them. I spruce up their blog and Facebook page, make signs and I've even learned how to use the cash register. I load heavy bags of fertilizer and huge bales of growing mix into pick-up trucks. I water hundreds (maybe thousands, but who's counting?) of trees and plants.
It's a physical job, yet another reason I need to keep working out. Being leaner and stronger can only help me as I help the next customer wrestle a couple of rhododendrons into the trunk of her car.