Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why do you do it?

I have noticed some new followers lately, WELCOME!  I try and stop as many blogs as I can in a day, and love to check out what others are doing in their neck of the woods....so here is a question for anyone who may be reading this blog:  Why do you garden?  Is it for a relaxing way to decompress after a long day at work, or is it for practicality only?  Food security?  Or maybe you don't actually have a garden, but dream of building your own one day.  Tell us what makes you tick in the garden and how it all got started.


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This was my house a couple of years ago.  We had just finished adding on an additional bedroom after baby #2 (which pushed off my garden plans for an extra year), and it was FINALLY garden time!  It's odd to see a barren lawn in this photograph, it seems to be now that the garden has always been there.  My husband was in Ireland on a business trip and I madly sketched and toiled fence and raised bed arrangements for a week straight, staying up late at night changing my mind 10 times over waiting to have my midnight chat with my husband.  I eventually gave up on nailing down details and ordered a fence that could go up quickly (though not inexpensively), and with that we were committed.  He came home and got right to building me beds and we haven't looked back since.  I love my garden.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment which I crave as stay-at-home Mom, and of coarse the fresh produce never hurts.  I don't eat spinach if it isn't from my own garden much anymore after the contamination scare many years back.  That event and wanting my kids to have memories of eating from the garden (as I do) were my main motivators for becoming a vegetable gardener.  I find seed hoarding to be a sort of an addiction, why do I insist on buying more than I can grow?  A garden provides constant dreams, and lessons in humility & patience.....what is there not to love?
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11 comments:

Rebecca said...

Well, let's see. I was passionately fond of the outdoors and everything that grew and fluttered in it as a child, and that love grew with me and resulted in an education in horticulture.
I worked as a landscape designer for several years until I married my horticulturist husband. My long-time interest in vegetable gardening exploded into a full-blown passion when we bought our first house and I had a sunny yard and children to feed. Best of both worlds. :-)

Kelly said...

Oh Rebecca I love your story, thanks for sharing it with us! You must be full of so much knowledge, and having the ability to arrange plants in a manner that is pleasing to the eye must be a wonderful gift.

Erin said...

I put off gardening for a long time in our house, since it was small and I had hopes of moving, but we came to the conclusion that living here was more cost effective and I finally came to the "acceptance" phase of living in less than 1000 sq ft, and thus began my tackling of the yard, which is my saving grace here at almost 1/2 acre! We turned it from nothing but grass from foundation to fenceline into a thriving mess of perennial beds, native wildlife habitat, and of course, raised bed veggie garden! I grew up on a farm, but military life prevents us from finding that kind of life for at least a decade, so I decided to embrace what we have and create our own little suburban homestead instead of dwelling on the dream home that isn't! I find that my garden is my own little piece of sanity while hubby is deployed and the chaos that is kids. My gardens are a direct visible result of my hard work and I haven't had that sense of accomplishment since becoming a full time mother at home. Success is easy to define in a garden!

Michelle said...

I used to love growing flowers. I dreamt of a cottage garden. But eventually, my love of digging in the dirt became a desire to eat real food...organic food..safe food. One year at women's retreat God gave me 1 Thes 4:11-12. It made no sense at first...but about 6 months later it all fell into place. I read Animal Vegetable Miracle. I learned about local food...and additives...and finally....I planted a garden. And now...I will only plant more and more. The goal is to be self-sufficient someday. But I'm taking it slowly...I know my self...if I try to do it all at once I'll implode!

ps...your house is cute!

Rebecca said...

There is something very soul-satisfying about working in the earth with growing things, and creating attractive gardens that also produce food for my family makes me deeply happy. I can understand why the first thing God did was plant a garden. :-)

And since the landscaping industry tanked I'm SO glad I already had the garden in place! The kids eat out of it almost exclusively all summer. And now that we have chickens providing eggs I have a real sense of food security. That's a load off my mind in this economy!

Kelly said...

Thank-you Michelle, it took some convincing to get a garden right in front of it, but it works. I love the cottage garden stuff too, it sounds like you are building a nice little homestead bit by bit....my favorite part- your hens!

Erin- I am amazed at the transformation you have made in your yard, and now the master gardener stuff too!

Kelly said...

Rebecca, it's awesome the kids eat out of the garden. Mine are very selective in what they will consume, hoping that will get better with time though. I am envious of everyone's chickens- self serve eggs must be the best! I am fortunate to be surrounded by farms though, so farm fresh eggs are readily available year round.

Heiko said...

For us it was a way out of the city, out of the rat race and minimizing our need and dependance on money. So we sold up in London and bought our piece of heaven in Italy. We're not quite there, but 85% or so.

Kelly said...

Tell us Heiko, is it as romantic as it looks and sounds in all the movies I see and books I read? How onderful to have the courage to make that change, i am glad to hear you are almost where you want to be.

Thomas said...

To be honest, I'm not quite sure why I garden....for lack of a better reason, I think it's just in my blood. I sit at my office desk everyday and dream about owning a little homestead of my own. I feel like too many of us work at jobs that we don't like just so we can pay bill and buy things that we really don't need. I'm hoping that gardening will be a way for me to simplify my life.

Annie's Granny said...

I grew up with a grandmother who had a passion for gardening, as did my mother. The very first year I was married, I started gardening. It just seemed to come naturally to me, and it's something I've continued to do for over 50 years now. I get such a sense of accomplishment from growing my own food, but no special pleasure from growing flowers. I must have a provider's gene in me somewhere!