I can’t imagine life without plants. Watching things grow sustains me in a way I don’t understand, but have learned to accept. I didn’t always feel this way. The garden held no fascination for me as a child, and I generally avoided anything involving weeds or bugs. My grandfather’s impressive vegetable garden was simply the place from which radishes, carrots, squash, tomatoes, and corn appeared on the dinner table. There were wondrous things happening in that garden in the middle of Iowa, and no doubt my grandfather pointed them out to me, but I was more interested in making doll clothes and sampling my grandmother’s cookies than looking at plants.
I can’t say exactly when this need to grow things took hold, but when I moved to Georgia and witnessed my first southern spring, I was captivated. Within a few years, gardening books had become my constant companions, and I began to plant flowering shrubs under the canopy of tall pines, and perennials in patches of sun, while my children played in our backyard.
Through the years, gardening has been both my profession and my creative outlet. I’ve stepped away from it at times, but I always seem to find my way back. What I have learned over the years is that, a garden, whether is it a patch of vegetables or a bed of flowers, will eventually teach you something about yourself that you had long forgotten, or had never recognized while caught up in the business of life.
Most of us decide to garden because we like the idea of growing flowers, or spinach, or tomatoes. For some, it is simply a means to an end, but for many of us, there is a moment in time, when we realize we’re completely hooked on this gardening thing. I believe that’s when the journey really begins.