Who inspired you to garden?

There are a total of 516 votes:

My parents
(207 votes, 40%)
Red dot

A grandparent, or other older relative
(187 votes, 36%)
Red dot

My spouse or significant other
(15 votes, 2%)
Red dot

My friends
(20 votes, 3%)
Red dot

Someone else? Tell us!
(87 votes, 16%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

mine came from my Grandmother and Aunt on my mom's side... and my Grandfather on my dad's side

Sherrie In, NH(Zone 5a)

A friend.

Gold Coast, Australia

Yes a dear friend persuaded me to give gardening a go as I was well known to kill anything green just by looking at it. Bless her I haven't killed a plant for awhile now and love it.

Thumbnail by NellyLela
Waukesha, WI(Zone 5a)

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.

Phoenix, AZ(Zone 9b)

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...

Wesley Chapel, FL(Zone 9a)

When I first came to Florida (and DG), I made friends with a DGer who lives in the tropics. She was so generous to me - sent me all kinds of tropicals, even though I had nothing to send her back.

She got into a dispute with higher-ups at DG, and is not a member anymore. We haven't kept in touch, and I miss her friendship.

I'm hooked on tropicals now - I have 'the bug' badly, and I owe it to Karen.

Can't wait to start planting!!!!

Andrews, NC(Zone 6a)

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
Viola's Star.

Carrollton, OH(Zone 6a)

My Granny and Momma always had so many inside plants and outside and always a garden.Growing up I just thought that is what you were supposed to do.

Me setting on Granny's old tractor tire full of Pansies.

This message was edited Mar 9, 2009 7:44 AM

Thumbnail by synda
Kannapolis, NC

Both my mother and grandmother gardened, Mother still going strong, but the women in my family always loved flowers!

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I wasn't really inspired by anyone, it just happened to me. My sister turns out to be an avid gardener too. Not sure where we got it....

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

"someone else" myself :)

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!

Dacula, GA(Zone 7b)

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.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9b)

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'.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Growing up on a small family farm, there was always 'gardening' going on around me on differing scales. It comes very naturally to me.

Hilliard, OH(Zone 6b)

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)

Thumbnail by tropicsofohio
Bay City, MI(Zone 6a)


(Zone 7a)

I got interested because our apt. complex managers were having a "Beauty" contest for our balconies. I've never looked back.

Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

my aunt Lisa inspired me when she shovel tilled my first flower bed.

Pittsfield,, MA(Zone 5b)

just happened and I am addicted!

Calvert City, KY(Zone 7a)

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.

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

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!

Eastern Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

- Only I could inspire myself to do something like this... (lol!)

Katy, TX(Zone 8b)

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.


Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

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.

Barstow, CA(Zone 9a)

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.

Washington, IN(Zone 6a)

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.

Union, WA(Zone 8b)

My mom gardened, but it was my MIL who got me going in the '60.

South Hamilton, MA

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.

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

I was inspired by a dream.


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!!


Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

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.

Denville, NJ(Zone 6b)

great photo Synda

(Julie)South Prairie, WA(Zone 7a)

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:



Thumbnail by Rarejem
KC Metro area, MO(Zone 6a)

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

Union, WA(Zone 8b)

Great photo Rarejem

Kalama, WA(Zone 8b)

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


Stanardsville, VA

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.

(Linda Kay) Del Rio, TX(Zone 9a)

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!

(Zone 5b)

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!

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