I’ve been around gardeners my whole life. The first person who contributed to my new found interest in gardening was my granddad. If I were to describe him in a few words it would be choir director and gardener. He loves plants. Going to my grandparents house in Cary there were always new flowers blooming, a giant magnolia tree for us to climb, and birds at the many feeders hanging in the trees. It felt like an oasis. Their porch was filled with so many flowers and potted plants. He even had a mini greenhouse and what I would call a “tending to new sprouts” room in their basement. I remember the smell of that room; musty dirt. Is that even a real smell?? He would show me how to cut flowers, how to plant them, and what the many different types were. My sister, cousins, and I would help (willing or not) in the many outdoor chores they had lined up for us when we visited. The best part of all of this was….my granddad always wore dress pants! Most people assume the typical gardener wears jeans, overalls, or boots…not him! But that is my granddad; he always dresses up no matter the occasion.
The second person that taught me a lot about gardening was my dad. Growing up, and even now, on any beautiful day you would find him outside. We lived on 5 acres with beautiful pastures and throughout my childhood we grew lots of fun things: corn, sunflowers, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, green beans, tomatoes, watermelon, squash, lettuce, tulips, roses and SO much more. He can tell you though, I never really enjoyed helping. My sister and I would play outside or do our own thing, but never were interested in pulling weeds, preparing the soil in the spring, or any of the “work and waiting”. I just wanted the end result…the veggies or beautiful flowers.
Until now I guess I never really appreciated all the things they taught me. Now being 25 and owning a home has changed some things. I’ve decided to take up gardening this spring. Our porch is starting to transform into our own mini oasis. I’ve planted herbs, vegetables, and flowers in pots and our garden beds. I know my granddad and dad are proud and excited.
I have realized now it is not about the “end result” with gardening. Don’t get me wrong I am super excited to have vegetables to eat that I personally grew!!! But I am learning it is about the process; the journey; the experience.
(Our raised garden beds with lots of fun veggies; planting zinnias in the last bed in the near future)
I think this is relevant in our lives as well. So many of us race through life to get to “the best age”, “the best time”, “retirement”, “marriage”, “kids”, whatever you are wishing and reaching for and we lose track of the present. I know I do. We need to be in the now, even if it is not perfect or we stumble a few times. Because we will. Who knows if any of the plants will stay alive, but I am excited to tend to them, try something new, and enjoy the process.
Enjoy your now. Stop and smell the roses!
(The beautiful roses by our mailbox)