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My garden is primarily used to grow flowers that can be cut and brought inside. In another month it will be time to change it's look. In South Florida your choices for heat loving summer flowers is a bit limited. Fall/winter gardening from Oct-Apr is my favorite time of the year. There are so many more options during this time of the year, and the weather is just perfect.
I cater professionally, own a cottage with European-style guest stays and entertain frequently. My garden makes the food that goes on client's tables, as well as my own, truly signature. A recipe is never exact when the garden is begging to add or substitute another vegetable, fruit or herb. Being in my garden inspires me. I connect with food from seed to table and friends from heart to hand.
Wish there was a choose "all" button. My garden is my sanctuary, but I love growing veggies and herbs to feed my family. Love teaching children (and adults) about nature. And love creating with color and texture.
I love creating with color and texture, and then looking at my garden and feeling a sense of happiness. . . and then, a sense of "get out there and DO something," so I do and then nobody can find me easily (thus, a sanctuary, if not necessarily always "peaceful.")
Just today, a friend called me at work asking for more pears to put up pear preserves. It made me so happy that my extra pears have found a good home. Then, there's the sister who loves my blackberries and the other one who loves the butternut squash. There's my co-worker and my mom who are always willing to take some tomatoes, peppers, and cukes home with them. My dd & sil love the jalapenos. I ♥ the sharing!
So many friends have swapped plants with me and helped to create my garden. It allows me to have more when we share with others at a Round Up, and we make room for new things when we give our abundance away to a new gardener.
I can't help but think of the friends when I look at the plants and think about who gave them to me.
I love to create a special space to have my coffee in the morning and reap the rewards of my hard work. I am lucky to have just the right amouht of sun for the flowers I love. Mid day sun allows me to be outside in the morning and late afternoon and evening. I love my garden!!!!!!!!!
I checked "I love creating a peaceful sanctuary where I can spend time" but that's not exactly it. I like that it's a functioning ecosystem, with plants and animals. So sometimes that's not peaceful exactly, but it has a rightness.
My garden help remind me what is really important in life. It helps center me and reminds me that everything has a reason, rhyme, time and season. There is nothing more fulfilling than watching over something from start to finish, to see things thrive (or die) due to your care, and it is neat to see what thrives and survives regarless of your attempts!
ernbran and jeri11 You both have wonderful gardens. Thank you for showing them to us. I have not got the imagination to design one like that. Besides my DH would not like that much going on back there because he often has to "resque" or help me to clean up after. If we had the money we would definatly hire someone to help. Even so, what I have I do like and I go back there for a break sometimes. It is my sancuary. That area is far from done but I will post a picture of it so far.
Mableruth: Thank you for your kind words. I just love gardening. I have learned over the years (73) what does and doesn't work. You just have to have great soil. It only takes a little extra work to enhance your soil and then you are set for many many years. . Some plants just continue to amaze me. I love what you are doing and everyone else who has posted pictures. It is a treat to see every special garden.
Definitely my sanctuary, or as I prefer to call it 'my natural habitat'! I've broken quite a bit of new ground this year (for my new love, or maybe I should say 'obsession', for TB irises). There's just something about getting dirty, and seeing/feeling the sweat run down my face and into the ground that will be their new home. It's a lot of hard work, but I never feel more satisfied when it's done and my babies are in the ground. I just love it!
I live in an apartment complex and I've learned over the years that my gardening efforts have contributed somewhat to helping this become an apartment community. When new tenants arrive they are invited to have plants from my container nursery that will be suited to the sun exposure of their individual porches or balconeys. I offer info sheets that detail how often to water, fertilize and re-pot. In this manner, I have helped a lot of folks learn to enjoy having plants that thrive and helping them rid themselves of "black thumb" attitudes.
None of my fifteen grandchildren enjoys my garden since when they visit it is the site where they perform chores. Grandpa is my name and Spoiling is my game . . . but the weeds needs diggin' up in all seasons around here! Several of our neighbour children on the other hand love to be invited to help out, though never for more than ten minutes or so. We talk about garden figures that have suddenly changed locations and where they might appear next. There are lots of bees and butterflies, caterpillars, cocoons, anole lizards, mourning doves, a toad or three, and zillions of worms to be discovered. Kids who live in apartments do not often see these things and so this garden is a source of wonderment well beyond the magic of making a tiny seed grow into a towering plant with gorgeous flowers.
Five years and there's not been one plant bandicooted, no gnome kidnappings, nothing vandalised. Some mornings I open my front door and find potted plants on the baker's rack outside. Some are in dire need of doctoring, some are raging with health but left by tenants who are moving. Once I found a straw hat hanging from the doorknob. It was too small for me, but it was a perfect fit for our gargoyle! Occasionally, there's a bag of bird seed for the feeders. Last week, my day began with the discovery of six brand new terra cotta pots, with their saucers, neatly stacked beside the door. There was one time a note, a card at Christmas. Otherwise, these things happen without any documentation of attribution.
At the end of May this year, I had a mild heart attack. I lost three days flat on my back in a hospital. My darlin' stayed with me the entire time, so we expected the garden to be a mess and heading toward its own death because the temps were in the high 90s and not a drop of rain had fallen. When we returned home, we found everything up and thriving. Not a weed in sight. Fresh mulch had been applied on three of our several garden beds. All I needed to do was pull up a chair on my porch and enjoy the beauty.
Neighbours came the next day and assured me that they had everything in control. They tended the garden until I was recuperated enough to get my doctor's permission to get back to playing in the dirt.
My favourite thing about my garden? . . . The people who enjoy it.
LazLo your story was the most wonderful story I have heard in a long time. It almost makes me want to move into an apartment. But I am in this big old house and neither my husband or I want to do what it would take to clean this place out and make it ready to sell. Who knows, maybe I will have to get an apartment someday and this story will help me to adjust to that. Either way it is a wonderful story and I will never foreget it. Thanks for shareing.
Hey Lazlo - don't assume all your grandkids hate gardening! They are young yet - although I loved gardening from the start - my brother for the longest time would ridicule me and my love of gardens (he was a lawn man) In his early twenties he asked to borrow most of my books as he was getting into Environmental sciencess and many of my books of native plants and such were required reading! He now realizes how much he enjoys gardening and such.
I also regularily have customers who talk about it being their Grandparents gardens that inspire them to garden. Right now they may only see the work, when they mature they will see the beauty and fun!