Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What Got You Interested in Gardening?

I saw this question asked in a gardening forum and thought it was a great question. I thought I'd share my thoughts on that here.

My grandfather was a wonderful gardener. He had at least 1/2 acre to garden on. He had the most beautiful green, lush lawn I'd ever seen or ever have seen. I remember as a child rolling down a small hill in the backyard, loving the way the soft grass felt against my skin. Grandpa planted many different types of flowers in his yard. He did vegetables in another section of the yard including artichokes. I remember the first time I saw those...I thought they were the ugliest plants possible. Imagine my surprise when I was told they had one of my favorite vegetables growing in it! He even had a Virgin Mary statue under a little wooden roof protecting his garden (yes, we were all Catholics!). But his pride and joy was in his greenhouse. Orchids. Hundreds of orchids of every type. He spent hours in the greenhouse, tending to them, caring and nurturing them simply so he could enjoy their beauty. He didn't sell them or give them to friends or neighbors. He kept most of them strictly to himself and my grandmother. Occasionally a family member would receive a beautiful orchid to put in a vase, but that was only once in a while. He loved his orchids so much, he simply could not part with them.

He toiled in his wonderful garden and greenhouse for as long as I can remember. Finally, when he got much older, the orchids proved to be too much for him after he had been hospitalized. He turned the greenhouse into an aviary, enjoying many various different types of birds. He hired a gardener to care for his yard and gardens, but it was never the same. Somehow, the gardens had lost their lustre. I think it was because his love of gardening and creating something of such beauty was just not there anymore. It was someone else's garden now, simply because he could not care for it any longer. It remained very pretty over the years as he aged, but it never regained it's true beauty.

These memories are what started me in gardening several years ago. I remember his love of plants and planting; something which spread to my own father in his later years. My father moved to Idaho and created a gorgeous garden, relying on everything his father had taught him all those years. I loved talking gardening with my dad. It seemed like one of the few things we had in common and made both of us feel good.

So I guess I came by my interest naturally or I inherited it. I figure it's one of those two things :) But when I go out to my garden to "play", I always remember my dad and grandpa and the beauty that came from their hands in their own gardens. And I try my best to be just like them.

What got YOU interested in gardening?

Happy Gardening!


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