Thursday, September 2, 2010

Why Do I Garden?

Randy over at Creating Our Eden posed an interesting question. How did you develop an interest in gardening? Well, I guess it kind of came natural with me. My grandmother is an avid gardener although my mother is not interested. I never really got into gardening much when I was younger. I thought it was all but a punishment to have to weed. I still don't like to hoe and rake, but at one point I remember realizing that I actually didn't mind weeding flowerbeds by hand. That was when I was 13 or so. I still didn't do it very much and never thought of actually planting anything. Then I got an office job. After about 2 years, my sister told me about a coffee house plant she'd seen at Home Depot. My company had just given us Home Depot gift cards and there was a bit left to spend, so I sent my card with a co worker and he picked up my coffee tree for me. That was my first house plant. It was just a little bunch in about a 3" pot when I got it. This is what it looks like now:
Coffee Tree House Plant

Well, the house plant was a refreshing and happy addition to my little office. He grew and brought me happy thrills with each new leaf. What a fascinating world the world of plants is! I remember being so gleeful and summonsing the whole office to come see when the first two leaves bloomed out. I even took a picture of new baby leaves when another branch started coming on:
Coffee Tree New Branch

So, what does all this have to do with gardening? I don't exactly consider house plant care as gardening, but it does give me a little piece of my hobby when I'm in the office. What this has to do with gardening is, that is how my love of plants got started. When that gets started, well we all know it's non-stoppable! A few years later my boss came and asked me to take care of a few plots with some plants. He told me to plant some things around the trees and make it beautiful. There was no limit to how much I could do. Truthfully, he's a better gardener than I, but I'm sure glad he let me do it. I was elated when he asked. Can you imagine being paid to do what you already enjoy?

I sure had a lot to learn and I still do. My first lesson was that bulbs don't bloom all year long. (Is that embarrassing, or what?) I was pretty much a novice on the subject, but I loved plants. I actually had a very pretty garden that year. My boss had his wife take me to a nursery and get whatever plants I wanted. She introduced me to SO many different things. I got lots of different things and put them in the ground. My second lesson was that you have to break up the root ball or your plants will get root bound in the ground. (Yes, that was embarrassing too.) I had kale that wouldn't grow because it was root bound.

My boss would have people bring me different plants and flowers so I could make it beautiful if he got to thinking I hadn't put enough in or was afraid to ask for more. :) This made so I had petunias, verbena, hyssops, lantana, rose bushes, desert rose, ornamental kale, and lots of other plants, that I developed a love for, in my very first garden. I don't think my love of gardening is going to grow old like some hobbies do. I love gardening. Weeding is so relaxing. You don't have to do any brain work to weed. You can just rip out the weeds and let your thought wander around without anything bad happening. (Good luck doing that in an office.) So anyway, that's why I garden, and that's where I got started. (Now I just need to figure out how to do it more.) Thanks for reading. Happy Gardening!


  1. I giggled when you talked about "punishment". We had a garden when I was growing up. I HATED picking peas and butterbeans! But I always love flowers. Now I wish I had room for a vegetable garden. :-)-- Randy

  2. I remember being "grounded" to the family vegetable garden with my 2 sisters until we got it weeded and convincing all of the neighbor children to come help us weed so that we could go play with them. I enjoy it now too.

  3. It's fun learning how others became interested in gardening. Gardening also felt like punishment because my chore was hand edging the flowerbed grass with those awful clippers. There is something relaxing about weeding, it's a good time to just zone out.

  4. Hi Missy, That is one pretty coffee plant. I love that the leaves are so shiny. I think anyway you can dig in the dirt is a good thing and this surely counts. Very neat how you came about it and that it is at work. I totally agree with you about the gardening thing. In this month's Organic Gardening magazine the last page has a great essay by Maria Rodale that sums up how I garden. It's kind of what you talk about with letting thoughts waunder.

    I simply LOVE that clock you made! It's so retro and most creative on your part. The price is right too.


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