My love of gardening comes from my mother. Her love of gardening comes from my grandfather. Now I’m fortunate enough to pass on my love of gardening to my own children.
Some of my most favorite childhood memories revolve around our family’s vegetable and flower gardens. As a kid, I could sit for hours on the floor of my mother’s greenhouse. I just loved watching her lose herself completely in her plants. It was a magical sight to behold.
Immersing myself in the heady scent of green-things, I always wondered what she was thinking about as she potted, and planted, and fussed over her little green friends. As a child, I imagined that she was thinking about us; but now, as an adult, I’m pretty sure she was thinking about a whole lot of nothing.
If you ask my mom about her greenhouse, she’ll wax on about how my little brother used to drive his Match Box cars through the potting soil, or she’ll tell you about the time her Zinnias got infested and she threw out everything in the greenhouse…just to be safe.
But, if you ask me about her greenhouse, I’ll tell you how I used to love watching the sunlight filter in through the windows…or, perhaps, I’ll try to explain how peaceful it all seemed inside the glass walls…
Regardless, my incredibly fond memories of the past have happily worked themselves into my present day. I’ve made it a point, to immerse my children in nature since they were only days old. No hiding out in the house for us: just find a shady tree so they can lay on the grass…and just be.
If you talk to my friends, they’ll tell you that I run my own little nudie camp over here. My kids, and my nieces and nephews, get to go naked as often as they want – and no one gets to complain about the impropriety of it all. My rule is simple: If you don’t like nature and nakedness, please don’t stop by.
Anyway, as I ramble on, my point was to tell you about the lovely vegetable garden the kids and I planted earlier this spring. Once upon a time ago, I used to pick everything out, but now my children dictate what we grow. This season, Tyler and Abbey picked out carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, and watermelon. As the main worker bee, I also snuck in herbs, zucchini, eggplant and peppers!
I try not to be as anal as I used to be, but I couldn’t resist measuring out the feet in the garden so that I could get Ty to place the plants where they needed to be. After last year’s zucchini failure, I wanted to be able to make at least one batch of zucchini bread!
So far, the kids have kept the garden alive and well. They enjoy picking out ripened veggies and will even help out with the watering. So far, we’ve made delicious salads harvested right before dinner, I’ve whipped up some yummy zucchini bread, and our watermelon plants are thriving nicely.
My garden doesn’t look as pretty as it used to, nor does it yield the great bounty it did when I was the sole caretaker. However, what it does yield in vast quantities are incredible memories between my children and I…and that is worth every lost vegetable.