When did you first start gardening?

(Zone 7a)
There are a total of 227 votes:

As a teenager. (what prompted you to start)
(31 votes, 13%)
Red dot

As a young adult on my own. (any special circumstances?)
(57 votes, 25%)
Red dot

When I had kids. (or grandkids)
(12 votes, 5%)
Red dot

When I retired.
(11 votes, 4%)
Red dot

Start gardening? I never started, I just always have!
(80 votes, 35%)
Red dot

Other. (tell us!)
(36 votes, 15%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Belle Center, OH(Zone 5a)

I always wanted to be a farmer. We lived in a small village and the guys I ran with were farmers. In school there was FFA, but you needed a project. My project was a goodly sized garden. I've had something ever since. Even when I lived aboard ship in the Navy, I was able to rent an area for a garden if the ship was going to be (mostly) inport for the summer.

Evansdale, IA(Zone 4b)

I started gardening in my very early 20s as soon as I had a place of my own, my paternal grandmother and my aunts always gardened and I remembered playing in the veggie garden and their flower gardens as a child, certain flower scents can still bring my childhood back to me and the smell of tomato leaves.

Salem Cnty, NJ(Zone 7b)

When my parents moved in with us in '98.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I started growing vegetables along side my step-father in 1952 when I was eight. My mother still lives in the same house back in Cornwall, England.

I'm not happy unless I'm digging in the dirt!

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

I started gardening young about 7 or 8 yrs old. I fell in love with mums and started collecting them. I found that they started easy from cuttings and everytime I saw a mum, I'd ask for a piece to take home. My dad's mother came to visit for a week while she was under treatment for Leukeuma and she showed me how to cross pollent. I loved doing it and when we left that house I had some really nice mums. I took a few with me, but over the years have lost those. I still love mums and am planning on getting some for my garden here.

Logan Lake, BC(Zone 3a)

From my earliest recollection I wanted to play in the dirt, I used to love being with my mother and grandmother when they were planting vegetables and flowers.

Hanceville, AL(Zone 7a)

I was always around the neighbor's gardens when I was a child. When I married, my in-laws gardened and I was so happy to help. Then when we got our own garden, I was happier. I had to vote that I have always gardened, even though that is not exactly correct. For the last 38 years we have had our own garden. Luciee {;^)

Dover AFB, DE(Zone 7a)

My first memories are of working in the orchids; painting the mealies and scrubbing the scale with my alcohol drenched q-tip. It was my first "job" and I was so proud to be able to contribute! This was before my 3rd birthday. A 5 year old with a tiny grub-hoe can really do a lot of work to keep the weeds in check.

Garland, TX(Zone 8a)

My maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather were skilled gardeners. I just wish I could have known them longer than the few years I can hardly recall. *sigh*

waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

Some of my family were farmers but we lived on a city lot. There was a bare patch of ground next to our back door...where I dumped the water from the melting chunk of ice in the icebox. I was 11, and I planted cosmos, zinnias and snap dragons. That was it. Hooked for life.

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

I first started gardening when I was 4 years old. I had ate all the grapes off a grape bunch stem and went into the backyard to plant the stem as it looked like a tree.

The next day when I went to check on my grape tree there was a psychedelic plant growing in it's place that I of course assumed was the grape tree I had planted.

My mom and dad liked to have fun.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I always have. My grandparents owned a farm and my dad had a HUGE veggie garden in the house I grew up in.

Millbury, MA(Zone 5a)

I chose "as a teen-ager", but it might have actually been earlier than that. Where did I get it from? I haven't a clue. My parents didn't garden and neither did my grandparents (at least when I knew them). I do remember one of my great-grandmothers having a flower garden, but I probably only visited her twice and I remember her growing sweetpeas, which I hated.

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

I remember the thrill of watching seeds sprout that I'd planted when I was just a sprout! It's still exciting!

Baton Rouge, LA

I grew up with Gardeners... but never 'got' the bug. Grandparents were BIG Gardeners... one made a living with his orange orchard in Florida...

The Parents gardened a lot... Remember having Green Beans... enough canned to live through any natural disaster... and remember Dad building a special covering to protect his hydrangea...Remember Dad making me help him dig Chicken Poop...

Parents would drag me to the Nursery and I'd be SO bored. One time at 23? I did plant and can tomatoes... but again... no bug.

THEN... at around age 41... 2006ish... Hubby and I had a pool built for the 'pre-teens'.... I saw where Hubby - (definitely a Gardener) placed SIX Indian Hawthornes around the pool... OH NO WAY! MY Pool was going to be tropical with plants of all types around it... that's the beginning... I'm hooked ever since....


Houston Heights, TX(Zone 9a)

Ive traced my family back about 6 generations and they were all farmers. No matter what else I have done as a occupation, I have never stopped "farming". Once I lived in a one bed room apt and spent Saturdays and Sundays watering over 300 house plants, cuttings and seedlings. I got aphids so I released a box of Lady Beetles in my house. I did get a few eggs and larvae but it was kinda nice having them in the house with me even for the short time. Cam

Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

We always had some sort of flowers growing up. Where ever I lived had existing beds, I never did much with them.
After my divorce I lived in 2nd, 3rd floor apartments with my kids, met my husband, he bought a house.....Asked the former owner what flowers there were. She said NONE/ acre lot with zilch in flowers. I moved in with kids in tow, asked for two flowerbeds in back and two in front.

We are now married, I have a grand total of 22 perennial beds, I forgot to stop at just 2 in front and 2 in back. Bed # 23 will be put in shortly, end of June beginning of July I MIGHT be done. But don't count on it.

Cedarhome, WA(Zone 8b)

Other. When we moved to the country (in my mid 20s) from Seattle. Both my husband and I were totally inexperienced. With the help of Steve Solomon's book and a subscription to Mother Earth magazine (before it went spandex), we began our plant education. Rototilled and planted a huge vegetable garden, started berries and grapes, fruit trees, and learned to can. As our house took shape, I started planting flower beds, learning about perennials and shrubs as I went. It's been an ever evolving hobby. The veggies have now given way to herbs (more books and reading) and my current project is to learn more about incorporating natives into my landscape. Always something new to learn.

Nurmo, Finland(Zone 4b)

When we bought our first house in 1964. It was a new build and surrounded by a lot of bare earth. I had to do something with it. Once you start it just grows on you.

somewhere, PA

My dad always gardened & both sets of grandparents were farmers but I had allergies as child and was not allowed to help outdoors. When I bought my first house, I started gardening. My dad helped me with some starter info and I just got hooked. I'd use all the extra money for plants and eat ramen noodles the rest of the month. Now I've got 10acres & a greenhouse. I'm in several plant societies and help the local schools start up a gardening club. :-)


(Zone 7a)

I'm somewhere between Young Adult and Retired. I started on a balcony because of a beautification contest at the complex where we lived. I didn't win but I was hooked. My DH now sends family/friends to me with questions

Minneapolis, MN(Zone 5a)

I started when I was in Kindergarten. My parents and both sets of grandparents had big gardens. My Kindergarten teacher had the class grow a bean in a cup of sand. I was very diligent and never let the plant dry out. Most of the other kids bean plants died from drought. My plant actually flowered in that little cup of sand and the plant was put on the teacher's desk. From then on I was hooked and I've gardened ever since.

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

My parents weren't really into gardening. My mom had a row of rhubarb and a raspberry patch. In middle school I was lucky enough to take horticulture classes once a week at the school district's greenhouse. I loved it and begged my parents to let me dig up a section of the yard for a veggie garden. They were always happy to eat the produce but didn't help take care of it. After I left for college I think my dad parked an old van over the garden.

Now I have my own yard and a husband who builds raised beds and digs holes for me!

Milwaukee, WI

always gardened as kid weeded in family veggie garden must admit seemed more of a chore but still enjoyed it and voulenteered . One of my earliest and favorite memories as a child is picking 4 -o-clock seeds with my mother to save so we could plant next year. As a teen joined FFA and worked at a greenhouse. And always found a place to garden even if it was someone elses garden I was takeing care of. Now I have 3 city houses that I do all the land scapeing and gardening in.When asked why I do it? I say " I never feel stressed, or angered while I am in my garden".

Roswell, NM(Zone 6a)

I got married when I was 18 and moved to downtown Chicago into a high rise. My husband got a book for me from the library called Organic Gardening. I read it 47 times and then saved some coffee cans, went down the elevator to the outside, found some dirt and stole it from a vacant lot! Started tomato seeds in those cans and put them in the windows of the apartment. They grew as high as the ceiling, skinny and shabby and bloomed but I didn't know anything about pollination! no tomatoes... we went to Britain, where my husband was from for 6 months, came back and bought a VW van and drove around the country for 6 months until I found the land I wanted.... so I could garden!!! Been organic gardening ever since, no matter where I've lived.

Sun Lakes, AZ(Zone 9a)

I started gardening in my early 20's because we bought a home and I wanted to grow some veggies like tomatoes. My father was a great gardener and my maternal grandfather was a farmer in central New York. I probably inherited the gene from them.

Tokyo, Japan(Zone 10a)

Mom and Grandma were keen gardeners so I guess I started very young, they taught me names of flowers, trees and shrubs as they gave me a life long passion.

Prosperity, SC(Zone 7b)

We always had a garden when I was a kid, there was always beans, squash, and corn in the freezer for the winter. I remember afternoons over a huge washtub shelling beans with my grandmother. Now I spend time with my own two girls teaching them how to grow their own food stuffs, how to put them up for later eating and how to prepare them in a healthy way. Hopefully they will pass this info along in a favorable manner not like it was some chore when they were kids. I work at a nursery and when I see the faces of children that did not know where their carrots come from, the fact that I taught them something in that respect make me smile. It is just so great to see their faces when you pull a nice juicy carrot from under the earth.

Ozone, AR(Zone 6a)

Ever since i can remember.
We lived in Ankara Turkey for several years and i faithfully kept a house plant (Don't have a clue what it was.) that was given to me on our balcony. As a child I was allowed to eat anything that was planted Except for a few things i was told was very poison and to leave them alone.
I got to gather 4 Oclock seeds too but was told not to put them in my mouth.
My DH and his mother were big on gathering wild plants and they taught me much about wild things. I have been studying plants for 65+ years. Still manage to learn something new everyday.

Bolingbrook, IL(Zone 5a)

The first time I planted anything was when we got our first house. We had a yard !! And it was mine !! I could not wait to plant some flowers, not knowing yet that the animals would eat them before I could see them, and especially my Glads. It seemed as though they had disappeared. No tell tale holes and no Glads either. Finally I decided to plant something else there. While I was diggging the dirt up in preparation, I found my Glads. Fully grown and some even with blooms - upside down under the ground!! I had no idea that bulbs had an upside and a downside. Now I do.

-South Central-, IL(Zone 6a)

Other: About 15 years ago I found a friend who loved gardening, and then I found Daves, and I've been flower gardening ever since. I'm having my 2nd veggie garden this year. I recently planted blackberries, Fuji apple, and two peach trees...and I'm looking forward to the future.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I was 15, and grew up in a "shotgun double".

We had a four-step front porch in New Orleans, with a flowerbed between the steps. It was bare, and I had seen and fell in love with marigolds. So, I sprinkled seeds and grew the most beautiful tall, yellow marigolds you ever want to see.

Problem was, I had NO idea how much bees LOVE marigolds! And there were bees everywhere! Needless to say, no one could sit on the front porch for almost the whole summer. And, bless my dear mother's heart, while she did express her irritation with the situation, she did not have me pull up the flowers, 'cause they truly were very beautiful along the front.

The seeds of a budding gardener had been planted, and my mother was wise enough and loving enough to let it grow and fluorish! ^^_^^


Summertown, TN(Zone 7a)

My Mom always grew flowers, and my Dad always planted a huge veggie garden, so there was always a lot of dirt digging going on during the warm months. I didn't actually take interest in getting my hands in the dirt until I was in my mid-20's, and I haven't stopped since!

Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

For as long as I remember. I grew up in a tiny village surrounded by farmland and woods. My grandmother took me to her gardens (She had three) from when I was maybe 2 or 3 years old. Before I was able to read or write, I knew all the fruits and vegetables she was growing. By the time I hit 10, I started collecting cacti and other succulents. That's when I knew that indoor gardening was my thing.

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

My neighbor paid me to water his plants when they traveled, and let me read all the books on their shelves. I was about 10. It took hours, is entire yard was planted, and basement was filled with plants. I came from a large, loud family, their house was so quiet. Peace and quiet, good books and gardens are all part of my happy place now.

Beautiful, BC(Zone 8b)

Grade 7 Science project on unusual plants using A. Graf's books for the report. From there joined the Vancouver Desert Plant Society (yes, there's a desert plant society in a temperate rainforest city!). Years of garden battles with my mother (she know best, you know), school and work at nurseries.

Wake Forest, NC

Earliest memories of our family garden is walking barefoot behind my Daddy as he plowed with a mule.

The cool, upturned earth felt good to my feet.

Parma, OH(Zone 5b)

Not to reveal my age but my earliest memories of gardening are the V gardens (Victory Gardens) in conjunction with the school. At that time I was in the elementary grades and a teacher would come around and check on my progress. I must say I got a lot of help from Mom who was a wonderful gardener. Her favorite thing to do was exchange rose cuttings with the neighbors.

(Carole) Cleveland, TX(Zone 9a)

I started gardening in 1999 when I "semi-retired" and became a SAHM with my last child. I have found it to be soooooooooooooooooooooo therapeutic!!! I love LOVE it!!

My mom never gardened, although at some point she was apparently given a Hygrangea, Camelias, Nandinas, 4 o'clocks, and even Morning Glories--none of which survive today. I wish she could have enjoyed gardening more--she could have benefitted from the same therapy I enjoy.

This message was edited Apr 20, 2011 1:04 PM

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