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We bought a house that had ugly green globe bushes and no flowers. I bought a book by Melinda Myers "Gardening in Wisconsin and I was hooked. What started out to be beds along the foundation and a rose garden in back ended up with 18 flower beds and counting. I've ordered enough plants already this year to make 2 more beds at least and that isn't counting the plants that I need to divide this year so maybe will end of another 3 or 4. DH will go to work and come home to less lawn about 3 times this summer.
I persuaded myself I guess... I was extremely stressed one day while I was in Nursing school... I came home and couldn't even bare to look at my books so I went in the backyard (still lived with my parent's at the time) and started pruning roses because I thought they looked scraggly... then I started weeding and triming back old bulb growth, etc, until I had a full blown stress relieving activity and a permanent obsession... it couldn't have worked out any better...
My grandmother. She always had the most beautiful gardens. As a young child I would help her and she taught me along the way. I owe it all to her.
I have successfuly grown Clematis from seed and one is named for her
very little gardening or basic landscaping experience growing up though we always had a house with a huge yard. once a homeowner myself I wanted to make my places look as good as they could. A quick search on any plant I was looking to buy or had bought linked me straight away to Dave's and thus my garden grew :)
now my own daughter cites the names of plants at 2 years old. she pointed to some vinca's at lowe's and the store clerk whipped around and asked, "what did she say?" dh repeated the flower name and the clerk just asked, "how did she know that?"
some are blessed to learn at the hand of someone else (dd) and others (myself) just have to dig around to find it out themselves. both are rewarding!
I said my parents, but it was mostly my mother. Before she died, I didn't even know my father was interested in plants. She always did the vegetables, roses, annuals and hanging baskets. After she died, he didn't plant many vegetables, but the roses thrived and so did the hanging baskets. I was amazed.
I have gardening genes on both sides - my mother and father, grandfather, great aunt, aunt ... Now I try to manage three - my own (small suburban), my sister's (larger suburban) and 9 acres in south central Utah. I have really bad tendinitis from all the weeding and digging I have done and still do, but I find gardening to be one of the most relaxing and rewarding activities I know. I just spent 3 months at my sister's helping to care for my mother, who was very ill with end-stage Alzheimer's. It was extremely stressful and demanding work, and when I had a break, weather allowing, I was out in her garden, setting rocks, trimming, planting. That was the best therapy, and also made me feel connected to mom in ways that we no longer could be connected. Working in the garden always was a family activity. I have infected my computer-minded boyfriend, who enthusiastically maintains our kitchen garden, makes up magical compost planting mix for me, and proudly noted to me this weekend that he can now spout out words like 'penstemon', in addition to 'vlookup function'.
My sunday school teacher. Every march, she would take us out into the garden, to cut back all the dead flowers around the church. Her favoriot flower was colombine. My mother was close to her, and took some seeds from the colombine plants and planted them around the house. My old sunday scchool teacher died from cancer a few years ago, but her legacy continues to grow in the garden and in our hearts. (i couldnt find any pictures of the colombine, but i found this giant gardern phlox in my garden)
I grew up beside my grandmother Ninna and my great Aunt Bett. If we wanted to eat, we gardened, if we needed a salve, it came from the plants in the mountains, so it has always been a part of my life. My mother took care of the houseplants and those that were only for beauty, so gardening came at me from all directions. I wouldn't have it any other way.
I was inspired about 35 years ago when I looked over the fence of my yard into my neighbor's and saw her cold frames. Later that year I saw the gardens that came from her cold frames. That was all it took. I went to the library to see what I could find about growing flowers and came home by way of the local garden center. I planted cosmos seeds in a glass baking pan, put them in the garage and watched them sprout. When they did -- although I don't know how they could have in the dark of the garage -- I planted them in a make-shift bed in my back yard. They bloomed, but not till September. But I was hooked. The next year when I built my house I made room for a garden. I planted it that year, and it turned out terrific. Now I'm limited to a large balcony, but I've never lost that first love of gardening. My mother told me after I was hooked that her mother, my grandmother who died before I was born, always had a garden full of flowers. Mom didn't garden, but she loved plants. When she and dad built a house of their own she made room for planters throughout the house. She had one in her kitchen. The sink was in the corner, and behind it she had a planter built, lined with sheet metal, that always was full of coleus. She had one in the living room too that she kept full of philodendrons. I must have come by it all honestly!
From the time I was a little girl I was interested in growing things as a neighbor would let me sit beside her and she would talk to me about her flowers and what they were. During WWII we had the Victory Garden and chickens and figs and pears and I was pretty much forced to do the gardening and cleaning the brooder pans around the fig and pear trees. And mow St. Augustine w/a regular old fashioned push reel mower. Even that didn't daunt me, I guess. Fast forward about 10-15 years and I found that no one but me was going to pull the weeds and plant the seeds and plants. With 5 children under 10 yrs old we moved into a house that had been a dairy farm and the cows waited to be milked right in the area. That was the best top soil - 16" on a pure clay base - anyone can imagine. You didn't need anything but a bit of water and a little muscle (not much) and you could have a beautiful massive display of flowers, etc. I managed to win Yard of the Month prizes each year. One day I came home from taking one of the kids somewhere and there was a very pregnant woman standing in my front yard enjoying the Loquots from my tree. She spoke up saying "The lady who lives here said I could eat these here plums" proceeding to eat even more. I told her "I'm the lady who lives here but you are welcome to all the Loquots you can reach." With all the kids and the lack of money and time to go out to eat I had to do something for relaxation. If I stayed in the house, the kids would continually bother me (simply for attention and distraction) so I would send them out into the back yard w/their little chums to swing, teeter-totter, play on the merry-go-round, etc. that their grandparents had given them and out the front door I would go to work my frustrations off. We always had at least a dozen kids in our secure back yard and they always knew where to find me and knew that they had better have a darn good reason to disturb Momma and besides, I could hear them so if something happened I would be right there. (I always told people I took care of my kids by sound instead of watching them so closely.) So, you could say I really influenced myself. A case of making lemonade when you have so many lemons.
My inspiration to garden arose from the need to feed 5 young children with very little money. I started veggie gardening on a huge scale, and canning and freezing produce for winter use. Once the kids started leaving home, my veggie garden got smaller and smaller and my flower gardens got bigger and bigger.
The land itself is what inspired me in every significant incident of attempting gardening. Did have a few balcony planters decades ago when I was residing in a townhouse that had an upstairs balcony. Had some indoor plants too in that location although their messiness persuaded me not to pursue that venue subsequently. But my first real attempt at gardening was when I had a small back yard at a house whose lawn was desperately in need of repair. The hassles of caring for that lawn persuaded me not to have a lawn ever again. Cost/benefit ratio too far on the wrong side. Began growing wild birds from wild bird seed on a trivially small back patio about six years ago. That has since expanded into a major sized Bird Landing Strip populated at any given time with three to five dozen wild birds growing on the feed that I provide. I now have enough land to enjoy my native Larrea tridentata (creosote bushes) as well as the beginnings of an Apricot Orchard Row, for which I completed the initial installation of a drip irrigation system yesterday. Also winter sowed a Bird of Paradise Row to go along with my existing Cactus Row in another area and my Pretty Flowers Row on yet another part of my land. Prepared last fall, by major soil Amendment and enrichment with 36 cubic feet of steer manure, a much larger Garden Area complete with protections from marauding rabbits, invasive flood waters, and malicious ORVers who formerly were driving across my land to trespass on still larger areas of private property beyond. I'm looking forward to another attempt at a cantaloupe crop (destroyed last year in a single morning by the rabbits just when the seedlings were looking sooo pretty) and a narrow range of other veggies later this Spring.
I put someone else but that's not really true either. I guess I just have a natural love of flowers and things and I want to do it. Of couse my Dad always had a garden but never the flower thing and I hated working in the garden when I was a kid at home. Did not like it at all.
I had to vote 'someone else because it was a mixture. My mother gardened, fern bed because her uncle had one. peonies (red in front of the house & a single pink in back). again I think that was her uncle as there were some in the grandparents garden. We brount the pink one east with us from WI after the house was sold. I am told that my grandfather had a greenhouse behind his church, but I never new him.
the neighbor behind us had his small yard filled with TB irises & I grew to love them. Husband is an excellent gardener with 2 gardening grandmothers. In CT we had a general flower garden but here in MA we concentrate on irises, mostly the smaller ones. We both do some hybridizing & are AIS judges. As shade takes over some of the beds near the house I am trying to find plants which fit in beds which formerly had sun.
My father, and then my grandmother.
My dad loved vegetable gardening, and he also got wild berries from the area around my grandparent's farm and canned them. yummmmmmmy Saskatoon berries (my favourites!)
He was such a good gardener, and we always had TONS of tomatoes every summer, some of them ripening in a cardboard box with newspapers so we had tomatoes Well into fall and winter.
School taught me to love flowers - when I was in Gr5, there was a "Young Gardeners" competition - I planted a seed tape of flowers, but didn't weed them (I was a tad irresponsible back then!!). The judges were so disappointed (as were my parents) that I vowed I would never let my garden go to such a mess again - and I haven't! I weed like crazy!!
It wasn't quite "inspiration." It was more like slave labor. My parents landscaped and put in a garden when I was 16. They decided that I needed a summer project. I wasn't so keen on moving great quantities of dirt and rock, but I did appreciate fresh Strawberries and Tomatos.
My mother has always been an avid gardener, and the beautiful world that she and my father created for us at my childhood home was all the inspiration I needed. My sister-in-law found me the perfect quote on a plaque for me a couple of holidays ago:
Started out it was my dad then my grandma helped me get even more interested. Then I found out my father and my grandma on that side of the family were avid gardeners too. Then I worked at a public garden for 2 years and that just made me an addict!! LOL
I can't recall being inspired by anyone really. Both of my grandmothers had nice yet sparsely planted yards. Mostly shrubs,some spring bulbs and a few rose bushes. They kept them neat but didn't put much time into them. I started out growing houseplants as a young adult and eventually moved my way outdoors. I think I was just naturally attracted to things that grow. I have memories as a child of being attracted to a honey suckle vine growing at one of my mom's friends house. One of the first plants I bought when I started growing outdoors was a honey suckle vine. As a very young child I would put flowers I picked in cups of dirt and set them on our front porch. LOL
HI! I got my gardening bug from my great aunt. I would visit her in the summers and she would always show me her latest plantings. I swore that some day I too would have gardens of vegetables and flowers. OK I am 65 and we bought a house four years ago. It is on two thirds of an acre, so I have plenty of room! I just happened to run into Dave's garden and have enjoyed everything so far. I really like the feedback concerning buying from various catalogs (so many!). I just got a computer, so I can.t be sad abo9ut some of my past experience. I can tell you, however, that I will not bother to even open a catalog until I have checked your comments.
My "Granny" loved her garden, and I always followed her around, asking what's this, and that! She loved her poppies. She had a corkscrew willow, that she babied for years. Plus they had a Christmas tree farm, they used for income! And her snowball hydrangeas were so pretty! Everything she planted, grew so nicely!
Like Frangipani, I was extremely stressed out and ended up in the yard, started pulling weeds and then moving shrubs and then planting...flowers, vines, shrubs...I couldn't believe how relaxing it was, and I still find it totally relaxing. I can't WAIT to get out there and start planting!
There was a tomato and cuke garden at my house growing up, but that didnt quite spark the interest.
The purchase of a house made me want a pond, I had no idea what that involved so the internet search began. Another garden site and Daves garden got me through the filter issues.
While surfing around Daves I found out that I didnt have to have matching little hedge bushes on both sides of the house. The journey began and has never stopped.
Needless to say, I dont have any little hedge bushes (now known as boxwoods) anywhere around my house anymore.
We always had a vegetable garden when I was growing up and I remember being a very active participant in helping out in the garden. I think us kids always ate more straight out of the garden than we were supposed to! LOL! Another major inspiration to me were my grandparents. My father came from a dairy farm in Michigan where they grew corn, soybeans,and hay and raised gurnseys (cows) and sometimes chickens and pigs. My grandmother always had her own garden plot for vegetables and of course there were flowers too. I have always wanted to be like her. I even interviewed her for a school project about her job as a farmer's wife (which is what I wanted to be when I grew up). My fondest memories are summers spent on the farm! God Bless You Grandma and Grandpa! I bet you're probably tending the gardens in heaven now!
My grandparents first piqued my interest in it when I was really young, living in New Orleans, where I was born. Grampa had a greenhouse in which he grew orchids, and supplied the local florists with them. My great-Uncle 'Bud' owned one of those florist shops.
Granny had all sorts of wonderful plants growing around the house, and they had pecan trees and citrus trees in the backyard. It was my favorite place to go as a child.
Later, my mother had pretty flower gardens, then a small veggie garden, and houseplants.
Now, since we live in the woods, my main interests are the wonderful variety of wildflowers, ferns, and other natives. And whatever the wildlife won't eat or dig up in our beds...still working on that one!
I put my Grandmother. And she did influence me but i was a wild feral child and it just seemed natural to tame part of my world but i always liked the wild world also and still do. But grandmother did get me started.
Oh my goodness, I could write a book growing up next door to my grandmother on my father's side. The 3 grandsons were taught to farm at an early age. The granddaughters began learning when we turned 2. Grandma would always let us help her plant her gardens and it was always from seed.
I will always remember that she put flowers in the church every single Sunday for 56 years. The most exciting moment I remember is that when I turned 10, she would let me choose which flowers to use for Sunday. Then, when I was 13, she said it was time to learn about floral arranging. My heart stopped beating I felt so proud.
Her house was not a big big house but her utility room was as big as any room in the house. She had two separate areas with deep sinks. When she passed away all the granddaughters wanted all her hundreds of vases that she had carefully stored away through the years. We were familiar with most of them.
Wonderful Memories...thanks for the subject being brought up, administration...
My mother always had some veggies and flowers growing, I didn't pay too much attention at the time. I didn't get into gardening until after I was married and had to have my own home grown tomatoes. My FIL always had a garden so guess I got some interest from him. Interest has increased by leaps and bounds since becoming a member of DG. Weeding was always a good stress buster for me too. "Who plants a seed beneath the sod and waits to see believes in God" is my motto.
My maternal grandmother gardened, in order to feed her family. They lived in Assinaboia Saskatchewan.
My great-aunt Betty (GM's sister) lived in the same large city we did, and I was regularily invited over during the summer for weekend stays with Aunt Betty. We gardened a lot, and spent a lot of time just being silly.
Betty owned a townhouse with a postage stamp sized back yard. The yard was crammed full of her plant treasures, most of which were plants she had Dad dig up from the side of the road and from ditches during our Sunday drives. She drove Dad crazy... Bill, dig that one, no, no, not that one, THAT one!...I still laugh to remember.
She was a widow, a nurse at a children's hospital. Her own children had grown and moved away.
My own boys were interested in gardening, at least until they discovered girls, lol.
I've been gardening with my niece for about 8 years. She's 16 now, and still enjoys coming to my house and fiddling around the yard and in the greenhouse. We 'do lunch' and spend the day being silly. We've got plant to shop for seed starter mix and some seeds in a couple of weekends.
In August, we have an 'annual purple lunch'...(purple potatoes, purple carrots, red romaine and greens salad, crushed blackberries in vanilla pudding) we pretend the grilled chicken is purple too, lol.
My dogs have her trained to dispense dog cookies on command!
During the past 2 years, at her house, we built 6 'square foot' garden beds, a barrel stand and put up a water barrel to collect rain water. We spend lots of time over in her garden planning, planting and dreaming and talking. On rainy days, we go shopping, looking for the pretty seed packages and plants that we don't already have.
Last year she even said she liked the look of her weeded garden, so neat and tidy. I had to laugh at her because up until that point, 'weed' was a four-letter word of the bad kind! She'd do anything to avoid weeding.
About 3 or 4 years ago, while I was out in the garden pulling weeds, contemplating life in general, I got thinking about my Aunt Betty, and then it hit me.
I was niece's Aunt Betty... I told niece about my own Aunt Betty, and we had a good laugh. She started calling me Aunt Betty, and she's LittleBetty to me.
Ann, I can remember the victory gardens very well. I was a young girl when WWII was going on and in the summer we lived on 13 acres of formal gardens and 3 acres of woodlands. The formal gardens were my grandfather's love. He was editor and publisher of a country weekly newspaper and the gardens were his stress relief. He had a man hired to help him and when the war drafted the garndner, guess who was drafted to help grandad. ME.
So much for fun and games in the summer. I learned to work like a man at a young age and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I would never change a thing. My mother also had part of the woodland section that was rocky and full of mossy trees, etc. and she would take Grandma and I for drives into the other parts of the country and we would collect wild flowers, Orchids, trillium, all kinds of moss and berries , it was such fun.
We would bring them back and plant them in her special wild flower area. That is where I got my love for the outdoors and gardening. We also had dogs and horses and that too became engraved in my life. The house we lived in was at one time an old slaughter house and it was renovated and preserved. The walls were all rocks and there were bars on the windows to keep the cattle in. The estate had several springs on it and a creek running along side the property. It was such fun living there every summer that I could hardly wait until school was over. In the winter we lived in town over the newspaper office. During the war everyone worked twice as hard because most of the younger men were in the service. Thank you for reminding me of a wonderful part of my childhood. JB
I remember running around in my Grandmother's garden and being interested in her flowers. My Mother's early gardens were mostly vegetables, raspberries and strawberries which I didn't much care for because I had to help out, but there were six of us children to feed and everything was delicious. There were some hollyhocks that grew along the house fence that I remember to this day they were lovely. Later when she had more flowers I was amazed at how well they grew of course being on a farm there was lots of natural fertilizer available. I would say they both gave me the inspiration to have my own flower gardens and to this day I have some flowers that my Grandmother gave me. I also have some from Mom when she moved to an apartment she told us we could take what we wanted, she still has potted flowers on her balcony which she enjoys.
One of my DIL is interested in flowers, I am hoping that in the future my grandkids will find the love of gardening.
I had to say someone else -- I think I was born this way. Grew up in an apartment although both parents had some type of farming in their background. We never had a houseplant or fresh flowers but I would admire gardens when my mother would take me for walks. I was always pulling things out of the ground and trying to replant in my backyard. One time I sent away for free seeds and had corn growing and the landlord tore it out! I used to send away for catalogs and make lists of the flowers I wanted to order and grow someday.
I was born in 1936. You all should know the 29 story. We had a small home on a sixty five by two hundred feet and a barn. Even in 36 dad gardened every square inch between the house and the barn. I saw that barn house a pig or three, later a goat we trained to sulkey drive and ole blue the family hunting dog. By 1940 I had full charge of ole blue feeding him and pulling weeds from around the onions dad had me stick along the edge of the walk. That was a lot of responsibility for a four year old but we had lots to eat. Dad did a lot of farm constuction and often traded for wheat, milk, butter or a ham. We needed some money so contracts written in pencil often indicated twenty percent down in cash and the rest in trade as you can afford it. More than a few times a family came to help dad in his garden as part of the pay. We had an outhouse...digging that sucker up and putting it on the garden was a PeeU stinky job. Our village had one fine black family with six kids. They worked in the gardens for trade too.
My grandmother Cherry. Even though she lived in NC where there was nothing but red clay, she had the most beautiful scarlet sage. We would go to the woods with a wagon and collect what she called "wood's mold" and haul it back to put in her flower beds. She always collected the seeds of her scarlet sage to plant the next year. This was in the 50's and she used all her resources to save and grow beautiful things. She would cut open apples and lay them on newspaper on a picnic table to let them dry. Then she would fry up the best apple jacks you have ever put in your mouth. Such beautiful memories of my dear grandmother.
I was born in Sweden and came with my parents to the US when I was 10 years old. While in Sweden, I spent a month each during the summer for 2 years at friends of my parents in the country. I was 6 and 7 years old. It was to get me out of the city for a taste of country life. I was born and raised in an apartment. These friends owned and operated a dairy farm. They also had pigs, chickens, and horses, a huge vegetable garden, plus apple trees.
Here I learned that cow manure was great for the garden. I had the taste of fresh vegetables, homegrown cooked chicken, fresh eggs (no chemicals) apples off the tree, milked cows, saw baby animals born. I also learned about a dog named Lola, a German Shepherd who was the watchdog for the house. She was my friend.
During the weeks I was there, I helped with the garden---picked fresh vegetables and weeded. They also had flowers that I grew to love. Got a taste for unripe green apples. Never got a stomache ache as I was told I would get. I would hide to eat them.
I loved every single minute I was there. My parents would come up to see me on weekends. I was happy to see them but never quite ready to return home. Too much fun, including the lake within a stone's throw away and visiting friends to play with.
These are the people that influenced me the most. I swore that someday I will have my own house with a garden. I also promised myself to have a German Shephard. I did for 12 years and her name was Lola. I also had the house with garden as married, and now as single.
well here we go as a young child I hated it cause it was a chore working in family veg garden was a big one 7 kids. As a young adault I moved close to my Great Aunt Priscilla who was an angel. She was the greatest gardener I know. What beaitiful gardens. So I would go and help with all the gardening and she taught me so much. Then went into the Army and had noplace to garden a nd lost interst. Later in life bought a house and I was too cheap to pay someone to landscape it or put in gardens so I did it and remembered how enjoyable it is. So seven years later you cant stop me, Im sure I'll have no yard at all in few years ,lol.Working on putting in a pond this year.I propagate anything I can and now 2 of my sisters yards are gettinfg smaller .The pic shows the Gate and Arbor I built with wiestiria that I need to trim
First I wrote "someone else," meaning it just happened to me--I didn't remember experiences with my parents' or grandparents' gardens to influence me. I just recall the incredible satisfaction that having my first potted plants gave me, in those days when I was just married and had wanted to beautify a small patio in our first apartment.
Then, I remembered my Grandma Emma, and the hollyhocks that grew by her front door in North Dakota, and how I loved to sit amongst them. Surely that inspired me. And I thought how my own mother loved her lawns and shrubs --all taken care of by the Japanese gardeners that kept the Southern California landscape beautiful.
And then I remembered so many of the creation stories that feature a garden. I think the love of gardening might be innate.
I have to say my Grandmother,when my mom died I was 17 and my dad and I moved in with my moms, mom fondly called granny even by her other children well she always had a garden in the yard and could make everything grow veggies and flowers she always had coleus asters roses impatiens ans many houseplants I always try to keep the coleus going it keeps me in touch with her, I miss her she got me stared and I love it!!!!...Sharon
At a point in my life when I was depressed, I met a lady who had the most marvelous garden. She inspired me to get out and dig. In the first year, I created beds all along the backyard and planted flowers and vegetables and became thoroughly tired. It helped me get though a bad time and created an area that was really beautiful. I will always be grateful to Frances for getting me involved in gardening.
I inspired me to garden! No one in my family was much of a gardener beyond the obligatory foundation plantings--you know, a few hostas and maybe a sedum or two amidst the shrubs.
But as a kid, I had this thing for planting seeds. I remember stealing a few sunflower seeds from my grandma's birdseed mix and planting them in the planter by her front porch stoop. To everyone's surprise, three enormous sunflowers grew there (on the north side of the building, even!), and I was thrilled. The following year, I dug around in a patch of bare soil where my grandma had burned leaves the fall before. I planted zinnia seeds I'd been given at school. They sprouted into a wonderful little patch of color.
I forgot gardening for years as I grew up until one day about 10 years ago I got a Spring Hill catalog in the mail, just out of the blue. (I know they're not the most reputable company, but at the time they were much better.) I fell in love with all the images of gorgeous flowers and all the possibilities. I ordered a few plants including a bleeding heart (still one of my favorites) and some forget-me-nots and I planted them in the hard clay soil when they arrived--no composting, no mulching, no preparation. They grew, and...I was hooked. From that day on, wherever I could claim a patch of soil, I made a garden. My first efforts were just a few plants in containers because we rented, but when we finally got a house, I made what I considered a real garden. I tended it for two years before I had to leave it. But now I have a new patch of dirt to make something out of from scratch. :)
I could write a book on the memories I have of my grandparents gardens (both floral and vegetable). When we went to their farm, which was frequently, we stopped in the garden first because that's where my grandpa always was! He allowed us grandkids a small plot to grow pumpkins for the Agway largest pumpkin contest. He also had us working in "his" part of the garden... we never thought it was work though.
My parents also gardened... only my fondest memories are of sneaking in the garden to steal dad's young onions... to just wipe off the dirt and eat the onion on the spot (thank God he didn't use pesticides!). My dad would catch us and "pretend" to be mad, but I think he planted extra just for us!
What is it about gardening that brings a family together?!
Never did any gardening at home always lived in Flats (apartments) then we bought our first house and that was it! I was smitten, this is only my 2nd house first was in London UK, now in Kissimmee - very different, but loving every minute of it.
We bought a house that had an extensive garden that had been neglected. At the same time my son's high school science project was to collect and identify native plants. So we spent a lot of time at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and Zilker Botanical Garden and I learned about plants that even I couldn't kill.Trial and error helped me bring that garden back and gave me the confidence to create my own from scratch when we moved 6 years later.Now I'm much more likely to be at a nursery each weekend than at the mall...Thanks to the Public School system!
My parents taught me how to grow stuff, but I was inspired to do it myself when I saw stores charging $5.00 for a few slices of watermelon, that didn't even taste all that good, as well as $4.00/pound for sugar snap peas (one of my favorites) .
My mom is great at anything related to plants. From indoor to outdoor. Then with my grandfather (her dad) he taught me the medicinal and edible uses of wild plants. Now I work with my son to show him that some of our 'weeds' are indeed edible and we will have them with dinner. While he is quick to pop a leaf or flower in his mouth at home I tell him all the time to only do that at home. I have not used pesticides or herbicides in years. I do use soap sprays and veggie oil sprays, so easy to wash off. I pull my weeds all by hand or let the mower do them in. :)
My dad did the outside gardening- roses, veggies, etc. I remember cutting gallberry sticks every year for the pole beans! I remember harvesting the veggies.
Moma did the inside gardening- loves African violets! My dad and I built my mom a greenhouse when I was 14 years old. It was an FFA project. Took 4 years of Horticulture in high school. I'm just a garderner by heart. I miss Daddy's advice on my veggies every year, but I can still hear his voice telling me to plant by the moon. Gotta have that Farmer's Almanac every year! love, julie
My dear grandparents tried and tried to teach me to garden. I refused to listen or take interest because at the time, my teenage mind was more interested in horses and boys.
Well now I'm 40 and I wish I had listened!!!! Actually some of the activities I observed in my grandparents, now make sense. And I think that they are proud to see my yard as they look down from heaven. It is strange how I inadvertently did absorb some of their teachings, because I can still to this day hear my grandmother telling me about how to take care of her hydrangeas, irises, and roses.
It's in my blood from both sides of the family. They all garden. My Mom and Dad farmed for a living when I was younger. They were strawberry farmers. When Dad passed Mom couldn't do it by herself so she stopped the strawberry farming but kept the cattle. But we've always grown our own food. I wasn't able to garden much for a lot of years but finding DG lit a fire under me and I'm in full gardening swing now. I love it.
I said 'parents' but it really was my Mom. She grafted roses and fruit trees - several to a bush - and rooted plants by sticking them in potatoes. she knew the medicinal value of all the plants in the woods and dragged me along on all her plant collecting trecks. There were apple trees growing along the rail road tracks. It was Johnny Appleseed who planted them, she said.
She also dried and canned our food - most of which came from the garden.
My grandparents had a very small garden, which they bought after retirement. It was nice to see how flowers grew - real alive tulips and roses and others.But then I was not happy at all to be made to WORK in the garden! Many years later when my grandparents had been dead for a long time and I had my own children I felt that I MUST have a garden of my own, a place where I could walk barefoot on the grass and plant and grow myself something beautiful and unusual. So my husband and I bought a piece of land near Moscow, built a small house ( we did that ouselves), planted all those flowers and trees from my childhood, and are trying to make a paradise garden for our family. And I love to WORK in my garden!
My inspiration came from within. Neither of my parents were gardeners, but my maternal grandfather definately was. However I only met him once when I was 5 years old. My mother supported my gardening ambitions but she did not grow things. I have an older sister who has always been growing things and I learned quite a bit from her.
I voted parents, but it was actually my dad. When I was a kid, gardening was a chore that I remember dreading. Blisters, sore back, dirty and sweaty, best describes my childhood memories of gardening. When I moved out into my first apartment, I really missed working in the garden. My dad invited me home on the weekends to garden with him. He even gave me my own patch until I bought my first home with a nice garden spot. Then, we swapped seeds and plants. Though my dad has been gone for some years now, I still feel close to him when I'm working in my garden. I've now made gardeners of my 2 daughters and grand-daughter. : )
niniaAries It is nice to see your gardens. I see a lot of work that you have done. Unfortunately not many here work to have nice gardens as you have shared. Keep on visiting with us and showing your gardens as the season develops new plants.
My grandparents on both sides of the family were big gardeners. My parents are also big gardeners. I was bitten by the gardening bug when I was in Kindergarten and I have been going strong ever since. It's funny, though, of the three kids in the family, I'm the only gardener; my brother and sister have absolutely no interest in gardening and I cannot relate to that at all. Thank God I got bitten by that gardening bug. Seems like I should be immune from mosquito bites now, though. (:o)
edited to correct spelling
I learned how to garden from my Grandmother on my mom's side. She grew up on a farm as did my grandfather, she taught me to grow organic and lots of other lessons on the way. This was back in the late 60's and 70's, she passed on in 82 from cancer, I wish she had lived long enough to see things like Baker Creek Seeds and their farm. Seed Savers Exchange was just getting started, but I didn't know about them then anyway. I carry on what she taught me, which was a gift of gardening for life, priceless.
ninaAries, Your flower bed reminds me of my great-grandma's flower bed on her farm in NW Tennessee that I visited as a child. She always sent us home with lovely, fragrant bouquets. Absolutely gorgeous!
My earliest memories of my grandmother are of her walking around the yard with me in her arms telling me the names of flowers and showing me butterflies. Both my parents grew up on farms and so did I. We "gardened" to survive, but we all loved it. It was a family endeavor from beginning to end. I am anxiously anticipating the lovely gardens I will have when I retire and have time to devote to it for relaxation in about a year.
My uncle, who was 21 years older than my Mom and, therfore, my surrogate grandfather for most of my youth. He built his own house (in San Jose, CA) and made the tropical greenhouse bigger than the living space. Sliding doors opened the dining and sitting rooms to the greenhouse. For a young boy, it was a magical place. Later, he taught me how to grow organic vegtables and sprouts (in the late 1960s, before "old people" did this kind of thing). When he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, his gardening and "health-food" hobbies sustained him and allowed him to live a quality life ten years longer than the doctors prognosis. I am sure Lloyd has made heaven a greener place.
I voted for my parents, but I think it's just in my blood! Many of my ancestors were farmers. My parents did garden a little, but at that time I was not interested. My grandmother used to grow and breed iris, but again, I was too young and ignorant to realize how special that was.
I've always had houseplants, but as I get older I enjoy veggie and flower gardening more and more. My husband shares my obsession and we egg each other on to do more and better. Our kids think we're nuts. : )
I think being raised on a farm where it was a have to for survial and watching my mom love her flowers when she could have them, my grandmother's always faithful bed of Daff's blooming and the ole fashioned roses spreading everywhere. Helping with the garden and the crop's to be bought in , we moved to the city well we thought the city , and mom went with hoe and shovel and put her garden in so we where sure to have fresh veggie's and some to can along one side of fence and got her compost going to feed it. Just something you had to do and as the years went on her cherished flowers one by one. For there retirement years they bought 2 acre's of land and on weekends cleared it and tilled it and cut down pine tree's for the log house for a few chicken's for fresh egg's and flowers that mom air layed from the city house it has become the flower yard , since mom kept getting gifts of different flower's cause Dad said if you can't eat it you just don't need it, He shared his veggie's as the neighbor hood grew and mom shared flowers since they have passed it is mostly flower's and a few veggie's feeding one don't need much but it all has good meniores.
Although Grandpop had a beautiful garden and yard with many flowers, vegetables, shrubs, a cherry tree, and a grape trellis, and my Dad had a tomato patch with dozens of plants, my real inspiration came from our first house, which had an unbelievable diversity of plantings that bloomed and budded in spring and changed colors in fall, and were a constant source of delight and education about all manner of flora and fauna in those first years of our marriage.
Mine was my mother. She had a love for plants. I remember her large flower beds and her adding more. The Iris bed, the shrub and rose garden. The lilac's in bloom. Then my father built her a greeen house right off the living room. Then her love came alive with many different kinds of plants. I even tried my hand at grafting in her green house. I was too impaitent then though. But i got her love for the blooms and feel it give's me when I walk outside and see the all of my plants . That to me is when the world is truly alive.
Gardening is in my genes through my grandmother and mother. I grew up with it. As I got older, I thought people that didn't know about plants must have grown up in a cave. How can you escape the joys of gardening? We just moved, and I have yet to find a good gardening friend. My hopes lifted recently as I overheard a woman in my Sunday school class talking about her bean harvest last year. I was very excited - a gardening friend! I started talking to her about the seeds I was going to plant indoors that day. Then she asked me "What is an impatient?" Oh, well, at least I can talk with all you super gardeners on Dave's garden! =)
My dad was not into much variety but he took great pride in having a garden of tomatoes and cucumbers that was the envy for several blocks around. He spent a lot of time out there getting some peace and quiet (ha, ha) and that is what I enjoy also.
My Mothers family were always working a farm and my Grandfather has a small vineyard behind his house. I loved working outdoors and watching fruits and vegatables grow. This made me very fortunate providing me with a "green thumb" so to speak.
My greatest pleasure was taking a dying plant and bringing it back to life. Now that I've retired I can spend a lot of time outdoors experimenting with small landscaping projects and I will never live in a Condo.
Grandma had a full time job in the days when women did not work outside of the home. She was a widow and she also cleaned other people's home, besides working for GM.
Her outlet was her garden, which I loved. I did not realize it had such a huge impact on me at the time.
It is hard to garden in the desert, not like it was for her in Ohio, but during her last 5 years of life, Grandma moved out to California, to the high desert, where the soil is clay and light tan and weeds are plentiful, unlike water. One day I caught her on the 2 1/2 lot, she was care taker of, and she was weeding it by hand. She asked me to help her, I was laughing and amazed that she had cleared nearly an acre of it already. She wanted my help but I had better things to do at age 19 then help a nutty old woman clear the desert of weeds, that were coming back in a month anyway. I regret this decision to this day. One day I came over to her house, maybe a year later. She had the little back cottage looking like a Thomas Kinkade picture, inside and out. That did it for me, I got the bug and could not wait to have my own place so I could make my place feel as loving and warm as Grandma's little cottage did. I am not as gifted as she was, but I know she is with me, with every frustration and every drop of sweat equity. I know what is possible, even in the worst of gardening circumstances.
My father was the flower gardener in our family. He had great luck with zinnias and Morning Glories, and no matter where we lived he always had a beautiful yard with flowers for everyone to enjoy. I get my love of gardening and photography from him. He was great at both.
My parents always rented in my early years so they never had a garden, although many relatives had farms and gardens. I planted my first one myself when I was 12, alongside our back door, in sandy soil that had no organic matter in it whatsoever. One blooming crop of crazy cosmos hooked me for life. Been gardening ever since.
We now live on a one acre lot, and are surrounded by large beds, small beds, raised beds, tiered beds, berms, and large containers, never took the time to count them all!! The north side of our lot is all one long mulched 6 foot deep strip of beds, plants containers and trees. DG friends have provided many new and interesting plants, and enriched our lives. We're looking forward to our next roundup in June.
When I was small, my Paw paw & 3 of his brothers worked over 100 acres of vegetables & their parents came here to grow vegetables after slavery was abolished. At my grandfather's funeral, ther were flower baskets of bell peppers, cabbage,etc. His brothers have vegetables & old tractors carved onto their tombstones. He finally died 3 years ago, the last of 13. I started culinary school & those 100+ acres (in the 70's) had gone down to 2 or 3 couple hundred' rows of tomatoes & peppers,etc. that my daddy & uncle had in 2006. I went looking for different vegetables at Whole Foods and all over the state & the selection was pitiful. So I started searching different produce & was amazed by the selection, I could not believe that almost all this would grow here, i figured I could grow enough to sell to chefs & foodies in the city to pay the bills. Now I grow over 500 varieties, including stuff that I'm probably one of the only people growing within 1,000 miles - by hand (other than plowing rows) on 3 acres, which has just went to 10 by the fall. My daddy use to wake up at 4am & work in the field before school & bought his first car cash at 13. Out of state produce & Wal-mart,etc. ran it in the ground come the 80's. But a few years back, my paw paw at 85 worked over 30 acres by himself except for an hour or 2 help here & there (anybody looking to make $20 for 10 hours slave labor... at least paid for some nice clothes afte a summer of work when I was young).
My moms side immigrated here almost 300 years ago to grow vegetables for them to eat in New Orleans (1720's), she's the lady with 400 non-edible things growing all over the place with no rhyme or reason.
So I'm basically the product of over 400 years, put all the relatives experience together - it's more like over 10,000 years experience growing produce within 10 miles of where I live. In 2006, like I said, it was all but done for. I am the last of my people that live on this land (as every single one told me I was crazy & you can't make money growing vegetables anymore & did every last thing they could to stop me - [thank you big evil, immigrant smuggling so you can abuse them and work them to death, mega-production, Monsanto driven, anti-christ conglomerate, food & agriculture propagandists... ooohhhh, everyone will take these mutant evil veggies that taste like garbage for 3 cents less a piece so we will be billionaires on the broken backs of the illiterate people we neo-enslave] - sorry, I couldn't help myself...).
So, I guess you would say it's a combination of a wanna be chef not being able to find anything worthwhile to actually cook... and REVENGE! I'd like to think of myself as somewhat of a self-taught, Jimi Hendrix of vegetable & fruit growing. Despite I was never actually taught to do it right, I basically operate almost the total opposite of what you would consider a farm nowadays. I love my plants though, I worked 40 hours straight without a break last week transplanting tomatoes & laying plastic mulch. At the end of 17 hours transplanting tomatoes into bigger pots, I stuck the last plant gently, to the exact depth I wanted down to the millimeter, packed the soil to the exact tightness I wanted, and bottom watered the tray exactly as long as I wanted with what I personally measured into the water - just as I did every last one of the several thousand before. I handle the produce I pick like it's made of glass, if I sell somebody something and the plop the bag on the table to pay me - I get that feeling you get when you see a kid run out in traffic. My feeling is that I was grow the best produce in the world or I will walk away tomorrow and never plant a seed again. As long as enough people can appreciate what I do, I will stay in business. If not... I will end up being a chef and share my personal little home patch of vegetables for free with those few people out there who absolutely adore it & it brightens up their day.
I suppose you would say the fact that nobody in cooking or farming ever cared enough to do it themselves is what inspired me. The fact that... "it could not be done" inpired me. I had faith, I could not believe that - in Louisiana there were not enough people who wanted better food, for me to not make it if I gave it to them. I lost everything I had and ended up literally penniless, sick, and on my deathbed 4 years ago. There could be no option after that other than to succeed by doing what I love no matter what it took & to take my kids everywhere to see everything whether we had $1 when we got home or not. When my kids go berserk over a big huge bowl of sliced up fresh picked bell peppers like it was gold, I can't say I don't almost get a tear in my eye.
Within the last month my business has more than quintupled in size (after hurricanes & brown recluses last year) & it looks like soon I will be able to get some help and be able to make it back to school at least half-time for those Culinary Arts & Dietetics degrees I half finished. I guess it paid off going to that first market without even enough gas money to make it home if I didn't sell anything. I guess you'd say I'm on the verge of being famous & a broken ankle away from being on the street, but I cannot stop - I am obsessed. Well enough talking... need to get to those few hundred eggplant plants waiting for their own new little room:)