G is for Gardening

Gardening is something I love almost as much as books. There is something soothing and satisfying about working with the earth and growing something edible, beautiful or both. This year I get to start fresh. New house, new backyard, newly dug garden beds and new ideas. I am chomping at the bit! I have my seeds started and so many plans that some will just have to wait until next year. Part of this excitement is because I have been gardening on such a small scale the last four years, since baby and toddler time always trumps garden time, that this is the first year since becoming a mom that I can garden to my hearts content. We now have a fenced in back yard, so I can garden and supervise the kids at the same time. And they both want desperately to help, which gives me a different set of challenges, but ones that are fun to work with.

When I was younger I had a sincere love/hate relationship with gardening. My dad is a work-a-holic, which he passed on to me. When I was in elementary school my family lived in the house where he had grown up. Once the land was a dairy farm, but there were no longer any cows. Instead there were greenhouses, a sadly sagging garage, old milking barn, and garden larger than our house.My father ran a wholesale greenhouse, supplying flowers to local stores, maintained our lawn and garden and worked full time in the banking business. The garden and lawn related work was his de stresser. I will never forget the year he received a truck load of manure as a gift, and was thrilled about it. Something gardening has become for me as well.However, when I was young I had no desire to be transplanting seedling in the stifling hot greenhouse or helping in the garden But I did, because my father was not someone that allowed no for an answer. Now he does, but only from his grandchildren.

Dad taught me so much about plants, about soil and nature that it makes me feel a lot closer to him now as we discuss or plans for growing tomatoes and strawberries. We were never very close when I was young, he was just so busy and grumpy that we did not have a close bond until I was college age. He has taught me about work ethic, being practical and being a pragmatist. He is part of the reason that every project, every gift, must have a purpose. Is it sad that I look forward to receiving garden gear and a compost bins as gifts?

My mom is the house plant queen. I have always been extremely close with my mom, we are seriously two peas in a pod. Mom was the one to help me nurture container gardens in every place I have lived since leaving home. She also shares my love for books, singing and eating tomatoes fresh out of the garden. I think gardening must be hardwired in me, or perhaps I am just full on manure.
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