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When did you start gardening?

Posted by northwestplanter 6 Columbia Basin WA (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 23:52

I know this is sort of off topic for this forum, but I follow this forum the best and have been impressed by all the knowledgeable people here! I thought this would be the best place to ask.

so here it is- when was it that you first got into gardening? child? teen? middle age? senior years?

I am in my early twenties and have been interested in plants for as long as I can remember. I always was helping mom repot and propagate her houseplants as a kid, but I didn't get started really gardening until I was a teenager when I revamped our family vegetable garden. now, I'm going to school for a landscape design degree to turn my hobby/passion into a career.

what about you?

-Nate


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: When did you start gardening?

I grew up gardening as a kid (we had a community garden plot as well as a big backyard garden). I mostly remember veggies and strawberries but I remember my moms giant snapdragons too. However, I didn't really get into it personally until I bought our house in 2007 (so late 20s)


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RE: When did you start gardening?

I am a classic middle age starter. Until I was around 40, plants were something we dug up and ate. Completely unexpectedly, I came home to find my 9 year old daughter had attempted to 'beautify' our dog-filled (4 lurchers) muddy yard.....so I bought a lavatera. Naturally, this flowered so well, it almost took over the entire garden whereupon, with just that minuscule scrap of evidence, I decided I obviously had hidden green fingers.....so I bought a japanese anemone, which, unsurprisingly, thrived. Before I knew it, I was in the grip of an obsession which not only led to 4 years of college but the change from a life-time of social work to become a self-employed landscape gardener.


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RE: When did you start gardening?

As soon as I could stand? Certainly had some earth in my Dad's vegetable garden and was sowing seeds by the age of three and have persisted ever since.

Both parents recently died and going through their stuff I found letters from me to them when I was at university and living abroad in various different places giving instructions about what to do with my plants, seeds, greenhouse, etc while I was away and enquiring after the health of the garden.


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  • Posted by mxk3 z5b/6 MI (My Page) on
    Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 6:39

Late 20s, when I bought my first house. Had no interest whatsoever in planting anything when I first moved in, but then my dad brought over a flat of red annual begonias and I couldn't very well not plant them - and so it began...


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A neighbor got me started in gardening when I was six. I have been hooked ever since. I am now 72.

This post was edited by gazania on Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 7:38


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I started vegetable gardening in 1974; flowers added 1985.


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My mother and I loved to grow houseplants in my early 20s but that was the extent of my experience with plants until DH and I made friends with a couple who had an organic vegetable garden. I feel lucky for that exposure to organic methods. I just grew vegetables for the next 10 years, then it mushroomed from there. No one in my immediate family had gardened growing up but I later learned that I had two great aunts both of whom were gardeners.


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RE: When did you start gardening?

My gardening experience is similar to PM2's. I grew up in a household of non-gardeners (except the one time my mum planted marigold seeds with us when I was 5) though my folks took us to public gardens and arboretums. I started working in the yard, weeding pre-existing bed, mowing, etc. when I was perhaps 10, and started planting tomatoes in my early teens so we would have fresh tomatoes. In college I helped manage a large student-run organic vegetable garden with a greenhouse and composting operation. There were about 3 years after that when I wasn't settled enough to plant, but since then I've always had a veggie garden.

I've always loved ornamental plants, and enjoyed both the public gardens and several private gardens of friends and neighbors, as well as my out-of-state grandparents, but didn't start planting a flower garden until I settled after college, and through 3 houses since I've had flowers and shrubs as well as adding to my folks' gardens on visits.


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Like princessgrace and florauk, my parents' gardening influenced me and the gardens I started in my first home. My dad was an immigrant who remembered the fig and olive trees and lush gardens of his childhood in Italy. Dad had vegetable gardens way into his retirement. My mom spent hours in her gardens. She grew iris, poppies, daylillies, columbines, vines, bulbs, spirea, hosta, trees, shrubs and even Queen Anne's Lace, which she loved, in her large yard. She also transplanted wildflowers from the woods. (That's another story --- see below).

I know I've mentioned once before in another thread how my mom introduced me to a love of gardening mixed into a life of crime. Because Mom couldn't afford to buy plants, she'd go on "plant hunts" in the woods with her friend. They'd pile all of us kids into one car and head out to the east part of town to search through the woods and dig up the dogwoods and Mt.Laurels that my mother especially loved. The reason why we kids had to go along is because we were the "lookouts" and had to warn them if any police or game wardens came by.

Mom was a serious gardener, even composting well into her 80s. All of her shrubs/trees were taken from the woods when small. She pot these up at home in her rich, black soil and set them in her yard to "get used to their new home" for a year before putting them in the ground. She actually planted about 30-40 Mt. Laurels and dogwoods throughout the property. As young kids, my brother and I had to help her weed the gardens and prune and water the plants. I moaned and groaned then but am so grateful now for all the growing tips mom shared with me. I still use some of her gardening tools! However, the one thing I did not copy was her criminal bent. Getting caught once by a game warden and leading him sheepishly to my mother (because I could not lie) cured that habit.

Molie

This post was edited by molie on Thu, Aug 22, 13 at 14:29


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"...my mom introduced me to a love of gardening mixed into a life of crime..."

OMG, Molie, I laughed out loud at that one!

City girl here, and not much gardening of any type in the family when I was little. When I was a teen, though, my mother started gardening in our postage-stamp-sized front yard, and my grand-parents bought their first house, where to the surprise of everyone, my grandfather started to garden! Sadly he died young and didn't enjoy it for too long, but between him and my mother I grew to love gardens....

.... but not gardening. I always had a few pots of tomatoes and some annuals on the back deck, etc., and then when I moved to the burbs and got my own house, I wanted a garden. I didn't want "to garden" but wanted "a garden" and realized I'd have to do the work to get the results. Over the last 15 years I came to actually enjoy the work.

I've expanded my horizons a bit, working at times on an organic farm, and now growing more vegetables than I ever did, but I think my heart is still in the flower garden.

Dee
P.S. Great thread! Thanks for starting it!


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RE: When did you start gardening?

My first garden of my own was on the front stoop (steps) of my garden apartment. I had containers of peas and tomatoes. After a year, a gardening neighbor took me into the world of behind-the-apartments gardening. It was a whole community.

I picked a spot under someone's windows (my apartment was over a garage) and grew a ton of different veggies and flowers to perfection.The lady in the apartment didn't want me gardening under her windows, so I had to abandon it.

My next garden was 5 years later in the country, where I came to know the joys of gardening with deer. The landlord didn't want me to put up a fence. I studied horticulture, botany, and gardening, and really developed my passion.

After that, I bought a house and that was the start of indoor seed-starting and gardening with perennials, shrubs and flowers as well as veggies.

I owe my love of this to my mother who, when I was a child, used to start seeds in cut off milk cartons on a sunny windowsill. She grew zinnias and tomatoes and various other things. She was also a dancer and a needleworker, which I am now, too. She influenced me so much, even though she was manic-depressive. She was so talented and such a good mother.


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This post was edited by GreatPlains1 on Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 1:25


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RE: When did you start gardening?

I started at age five when we grew a plant in kindergarten
We each had our own seed. I loved to grow things. I have an early memory of my mother teaching me that some weeds must be dug up rather than pulled.By age fifteen I was doing a lot of the yard work because I liked it so much.No one has mentioned this but I also love soil. If I did not garden I would be a full grown person digging soil for no reason.I am 53 now.


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Great thread and wonderful stories folks.

Looking back, I think I began to garden as soon as I could toddle along the rows of strawberries my father had growing behind our first house, altho' it might not technically qualify as gardening since mostly all I did was eat what I could pick and stuff in my mouth--blueberries, strawberries, peaches, peas, etc. Back then I did love raw peas right out of the pod.

I do remember when we moved here (I was 12) my dad helped me plant, tend & nurture a row of cabbages in the huge vegetable garden he planted every summer. I don't recall having much interest in it again until I'd survived the teen & college years or the short time I lived down south.

I found I began to be interested in gardening again not long after I moved into a rental house when my kids were in elementary school. To this day, one of my fondest memories is having my 9-year-old son "helping" me plant foundation beds--he planted everything upside down but when I noticed what he was doing & explained to him the right way to do it, he patiently went back and redid it without me saying a word.

Farming/gardening definitely runs in the family--to this day there's a fruit orchard on my father's side that's been in the family more than 100 years. It was my mother, however, who was committed to organic gardening, for which I thank her every time I put a spade into the soil and see all the fat, healthy worms. My only regret is she used 8" x 16" patio bricks for mulch! As good things go, even that turned out to be a blessing--as I dug them out (350+), I decided to put them to better use and had a walkway laid. Guess I should dub it the 'Mom's Mulch' path!!

The most recent years have been dedicated to growing--from seed, via winter sowing & when possible--perennials that attract & sustain pollinators: bees, butterflies & hummingbirds.


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Very jealous of all of you who have grown up gardening! And of the extent that some of you have been able to pursue your gardening passion. I'm sure you all know how lucky you are! And it sounds like for some there's a real connection to their family and their roots.

Even though I didn’t garden at all, growing up, I was always attracted to plants. I did remember one experience I had when I was a kid, no, two…we had a neighbor who had a grape arbor once with concord grapes on it that we would get a taste of when they were ripe. I don’t think I’ve tasted a grape that was better since then. And I had an aunt who was in a convent and when we would visit they had a large fruit orchard in the back with paths and trimmed boxwoods, I think. We were allowed to pick fresh pears off the trees when we were there. I remember they were Bartlett pears and were so juicy. I loved being in that space, it was surrounded with tall brick walls and was sun drenched with so many birds. I think there was such an absence of gardens in my experience that any small exposure to a garden had a lasting impact. Sadly, the convent, that took care of seniors expanded their building in place of the garden. So, it makes sense that growing food was my first gardening interest.


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This is a great thread! Thanks, Nate!
Molie


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Way back as a small child growing up in South Africa. I had a friend who grew stuff in old cans, and his enthusiasm was contagious. We salvaged cans from our mothers, and planted all kinds of seeds, mostly large ones like beans, tomatoes, lantana.

Fast forward to my first house in the Midwest which had some badly overgrown lilacs and weedy groundcover. I got the gardening bug really badly, and became obsessive for the years I lived there. I put in a 100' perennial border down the side of the boring yard, followed by another 3 perennial beds around the house and a rose bed along the driveway. When the house was listed for sale, the gardens were in full bloom and helped to sell it (3 offers end of the first day).

I moved to metro Boston where we had another neglected yard. DH rebuilt the terraced beds, we dug out all the invasive tree roots and planted lots of rhododendrons and hydrangeas, and together we turned the terraces into big swaths of perennials. Pictures of the garden were featured in the house listings when we sold.

Now we're in the high desert of New Mexico, learning all about caliche and how to protect the compost bin from hungry bears (true story). The garden is walled with about an acre of natural landscaping (cacti, succulents, scrub) beyond. The soil is awful, our total rainfall so far this year is 3.74 inches, and the UV will fry all but the toughest of plants. We're gradually revitalizing the garden, taking out the weeds, digging in tons of topsoil, compost, manure, and planting as our budget allows. I hope to have pictures next year.

Cheryl


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RE: When did you start gardening?

I'm not responding to the question of this thread but to Molie and her story of mixing growing with a life of crime. A friend and I were in a campaign to prevent the destruction of what had been a notable mansion in our town in order to provide space for a Long John Silver's to be built. We worked hard, petitioned, visited planning commission meetings, carried banners, etc. etc. We won!!! Due to public opposition the arboretum which owned the mansion decided to MOVE it!

I guess you could say that both the opposition and Long John Silvers won. My friend and I exulted in our victory.

Then about 24 hours before the house movers were coming my friend suggested that we go and "liberate" some of the wonderful landscaping items--aristocratic ground covers and
lovely small evergreens--that would soon be gone. We brought shovels, spades and lots of recycled huge landscaping pots. We were working away when a car drove up the drive. It was the police! We had been caught by the still functioning security system.

Many years later I think of that adventure when we go to our accountant who has his firm in the relocated mansion and I drive by the building that once was Long John Silvers but has had 4 or 5 changes of business since it was built.

Mostly now I don't "liberate" plants but I do take and root cuttings from gorgeous coleus or similar plants.


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RE: When did you start gardening?

I'm not responding to the question of this thread but to Molie and her story of mixing growing with a life of crime. A friend and I were in a campaign to prevent the destruction of what had been a notable mansion in our town in order to provide space for a Long John Silver's to be built. We worked hard, petitioned, visited planning commission meetings, carried banners, etc. etc. We won!!! Due to public opposition the arboretum which owned the mansion decided to MOVE it!

I guess you could say that both the opposition and Long John Silvers won. My friend and I exulted in our victory.

Then about 24 hours before the house movers were coming my friend suggested that we go and "liberate" some of the wonderful landscaping items--aristocratic ground covers and
lovely small evergreens--that would soon be gone. We brought shovels, spades and lots of recycled huge landscaping pots. We were working away when a car drove up the drive. It was the police! We had been caught by the still functioning security system.

Many years later I think of that adventure when we go to our accountant who has his firm in the relocated mansion and I drive by the building that once was Long John Silvers but has had 4 or 5 changes of business since it was built.

Mostly now I don't "liberate" plants but I do take and root cuttings from gorgeous coleus or similar plants.


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As I recall my introduction to ornamental plants was about the second grade, around 1935 when I was given the responsibility of seeing that the rose garden was watered. Living on a farm the weeding hoe fit my hands when I could be trusted to tell the difference between a weed and a new shoot of sweet corn. The satisfaction of growing plants lasts a lifetime. Al


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PM2's comment about childhood gardens made me think of something.

As I said, I grew up in the city and no one in the family (or really, even no one in the neighborhood) really gardened until I was a teenager. However, PM2 made me recall some earlier childhood memories. Our streets had alleys behind them, mostly for putting out our garbage cans on garbage day, and some folks had small garages there for their cars, as there was very limited parking on the streets full of rowhouses.

My friends and I used the alleys to get around as much as the streets, and I remember walking down the alleys and seeing three plants in particular that are a big part of my childhood memories. Honeysuckle, growing over the chain link fences, and which we used to pull apart and suck on. LIlacs, in particular two GIANT shrubs, which were a joy in spring, and those little dayflowers - some kind of commelina, I believe. Those things were everywhere, in the cracks of asphalt even.

Add to that three other plants I'd see when we "took a drive in the country" (which I now realize was really more like the suburbs, lol) and those three plants were orange daylilies, Queen Anne's lace, and "butter-and-eggs". I used to love to watch them pass by as we drove.

So, again, while no active gardening was going on, I did have certain flowers in my life that sparked a love of blooms, fragrance, and the tenacity and persistence of Mother Nature. I would definitely have to include these alley-dwellers, roadside bloomers, and even weeds, in my journey to becoming a gardener.

Dee


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What a nice thread this is. All the influences of moms, dads, grandparents, and childhood geography is strongly evident! We are a lucky bunch, aren't we?

My tale is a lot like everyone else's with a mom who had lovely perennial borders, container plantings, and a productive veggie garden. My dad loved the berries and fruit and still gets wide-eyed over something sweet to pick. We were lucky to grow up with a lovely yard that rewarded all these efforts.

As soon as newlywed DH and I rented our first townhouse that had any dirt available we started veggie gardening. In the early years I was always begging landlords for permission to turn a patch of earth into a garden. My Big Break came when we rented our first free-standing house where the yard had been terribly neglected. With the landlady's blessing, I created foundation beds, brick borders, built a brick patio and herb garden wheel out of reclaimed bricks that I'd collected, and covered the house with window boxes and hanging baskets. I lay awake at night thinking of all the possibilities.

Then the geology department where I was teaching wanted to clear out their rocks... so I took them all and built a wall. That was the beginning of the stone wall addiction. In that yard I also rented a tractor and learned how to drive it, seeded a new lawn and learned that bulbs are best planted in multiples of 100 or more. Oh my, how the landlady must have loved all of that! We turned that house from an eyesore into one of the cutest places in the neighborhood. When we pulled up stakes and made the big move to Montana, I re-created some of my favorite features from that first yard and it will always be a fond memory and important milestone in my gardening life.


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This post was edited by GreatPlains1 on Tue, Sep 17, 13 at 1:45


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Greatplains1, thanks so much for the photograph of your great-grandmother! She looks so much like my two grandmothers and, I'm sure, like those of many other posters on this thread. These were hard-working people who felt a great appreciation for the bit of land they owned and a willingness to work hard so that this land could become productive and useful in more than one way. Cultivated land was a symbol of ownership and a source of pride. And despite all of that "work" it took to grow food for their families, they found beauty in their land. I remember my grandmother's huge garden planted on the empty field behind the house that my grandfather built. Despite the fact that the vegetables from this land became food for the table and required her work, my grandmother also planted roses and other flowers at the entrance to this "found" garden plot. She said that both her vegetables and her flowers were beautiful.


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I had to be gardening before I could walk and talk because I cannot remember not being in the garden.

My mother loved flowers so the front yard was packed with flowers. She was a country girl from Georgia so it would be unheard of not to have a veggie garden. She loved houseplants. If there was a window it had a plant in it. I remember pulling grapes off the grapevines, blackberry, cherries off the tree and eating them on the front porch.

All that was grown in small Suburban yard. There was very little grass.

So gardening was/is in my blood.


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This post was edited by GreatPlains1 on Wed, Sep 4, 13 at 1:27


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I can say in junior high

Within weeks after moving to this town in 1965, I walked into my 7th grade class and was surprised my teacher wanted to read us part of a story at the beginning of class each school day. I was a stranger to the other kids, but her reading aloud gave me a sense of belonging.

Every morning she read a passage from 'The Secret Garden.' Over the course of the school year she read the entire book to us. Do the math and you can figure what that has meant for me the past half-century.

Added to that my mother, father, maternal grandmother & grandfather were avid gardeners and there you have it. Have I passed it along to my own children? They're both avid, organic fruit, vegetable & perennial gardeners, so there you have it.


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I cannot remember not gardening. I grew up on a farm in SD where my dad planted a huge vegetable garden in the spring and my mom and we kids did the weeding and harvesting. Mom tried to grow flowers as well but a large family and little time or energy and digging dogs left her flowers looking bedraggled. At the front of the vegetable garden (which was at the end of a large field across from the house) she planted a long row of four o'clocks that were spectacular. Neighbors would slow to see them as they drove by.

In college I had house plants and worked in the family garden when I was home. After graduating I started my own garden in a rented home. Always a combination of flowers and vegetables. I have the proverbial "green thumb" which I inherited from my paternal grandmother.

Now I do what I call extreme gardening. DH didn't want to mow a slight slope and suggested that I plant flowers there. Move over square foot gardening. Three hundred dollars of plants and lots of labor preparing the soil resulted in a large L-shaped multicolored border.

Then I found wintersowing and goodbye huge swaths of grass to make beds for the multitudes of perennials growing in those jugs and 2Ls. Each year I say I must simplify but instead I add or expand another bed. Most days I love my cottage gardens but some days they bore me and like GP1 I think of digging it all up and starting something different. For me the results are nice but the doing is the thing.


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This post was edited by GreatPlains1 on Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 2:12


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Molie and Grandmachris, it sounds as if neither of you was cut out for a life of crime! I laughed over your tales of plant pilfering!

As a very small child I spent summers with my grandparents in Vermont and lived with my parents in our Boston city apartment the rest of the year. The city of my birth has always charmed me with its Emerald Necklace of parks and gardens, and the unspoiled mountains of northern New England instilled in me a reverence for nature and wildlife.

I learned by watching my Grandpa sow seeds in their large vegetable garden on the hill behind their house, and tagged along after he and my Grandma while they harvested the vegetables. Most of the peas I picked never made it to the table.

Later when my parents bought a home in a Boston suburb, my mom grew a few flowers and cared for some flowering shrubs, but she wasn't an avid gardener. I do remember one summer she planted a patch of nasturtiums which I thought were beautiful, and she assigned me the task of watering them with the garden hose.

Years later, after a few years of city living, my husband and I moved to Vermont and bought our house. We had a vegetable garden for several years that we dug and tilled by hand with just shovel, a rake, and a hoe, and I built a circular flower garden in the front yard. I abandoned both gardens at some point, but grew a few tomatoes and kept windowboxes full of geraniums every summer.

Then when the last of our horses died, we began to mow much of their pasture as lawn and reforested other parts. The wetland area alongside our brook grew up in willow bushes. I created flower beds at the same time, and added a small patch of vegetables a couple years ago.

Animals have always taken first place in my life, with plants second, so our property has always been cultivated with the critters in mind. It existed primarily as feed for our horses for many decades, and now has been repurposed as a large park with wooded trails for walking with our dogs, the flower gardens being eye candy to enjoy along our walks. I do enjoy my gardens now that we are retired, and it gives me satisfaction to see various types of wildlife making their homes in our woods and willows and drawing nourishment from our flowers.


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This is such a great thread. The stories have been so wonderful to read. GP your great grandmother is such a beautiful, strong woman. That photo is fantastic.

I grew up in suburbia on Long Island and my parents had a beautiful yard.....although I never appreciated it. I would have to pull weeds from rocks, which I abhorred, spread manure in the veggie garden (gross), and I was sooooo bored when my mom would drag my twin brother and I as young children to the nurseries where she picked out plants. All I wanted to do as a kid was swim in our pool and play with friends.

Fast forward to the building of our first house. I started to really get into gardening. Fortunately, both my mom and my MIL were avid gardeners, along with my sister and my DH's uncle. I had a lot of people to draw info from as well as lots of books. I also happened to move to a town with an amazing nursery where I perused plants. I realized that I really DO like gardening! My mom was shocked. She never thought I would be interested.

After gardening for a number of years I asked my parents about the property where we grew up. I thought back and they really did do such a great job with the placement of trees, slate patio, shrubs and the pool. There were also lots of interesting trees and shrubs as opposed to the lollipops and azaleas that were so ubiquitous where we lived. I told my parents that I really admired the entire landscape both for layout and plant material choices and were giving them kudos on how great a job they did. My mom then rather nonchalantly said "oh, we didn't do that.....we purchased the landscape plan with the house plans." WHAT?!?! And here I thought my parents were true garden geniuses! LOL!

Well, my parents are garden geniuses and have a gorgeous, natural garden in NC and I've learned so much from them. My mom and I go on garden jaunts all over and it's so much fun to share that with her.

My grandfather also had a beautiful, well-kept yard not far from us on LI which I also never appreciated growing up. When he moved down to NC to be closer to my parents in his older years he moved into a little horseshoe of cottages. There wasn't a single potted plant anywhere to be seen. He was in his late eighties when he changed that. He planted roses and vegetables and other shrubs and plants in his little area. Well, it started a trend with everyone who lived in the cottages (all elderly) and they all started getting potted plants, some planted in the ground, etc. Looking back it is so nice to have that memory of grandpa starting a gardening trend in his little community and to see the little horseshoe of cottages transform to a colorful lively place.

So, I guess gardening had always been in my genes, it just took until my 20s for the gene to be flipped on. I'm so glad it was!


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Wow, great stories! Nothing special here, gardening since birth, blame the parents, I was the only one of three boys to really be obsessed, but the other two are into it now too since becoming homeowners. It's a little offensive how their gardens in their own way look just as good as mine and I was always supposed to be the green thumb!
Al- I'm doing the math and it looks like gardening is good for the body as well as the soul


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Gardeners always have something to look forward to, besides being able to look back. When I go out in my garden every morning I look for the changes which occurred over night. Yesterday I found a bulb plant blooming for the first time in five years, I had forgotten how beautiful it is in bloom. Now I will have to find out just what it is! Al


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I started gardening...

I've SO much enjoyed reading everyone's stories so thanks to all of you for sharing!
I definitely look forward to the plants that emerge in early spring every year but am equally pleased with those that bloom when the growing season begins to wind to an end.

We enjoy so many more choices than our predecessors did which reflects sadly on their garden options. We're fortunate that hybridizing is far more advanced in our gardening experience.

Perhaps that's a discussion for a different GW thread.


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I cannot resist chiming in, after reading all these wonderful stories! I remember my grandmother had wonderful flowers in her backyard. Mom raised a few flowers, did a little vegetable gardening when we were kids, and then later in life she flower gardened around the deer and raccoons and bunny rabbits when they lived in the woods with Peoria Park District all around. Now I'm on the family farm with fields of corn and beans...we do an acre of sweet corn which people around here practically worship. I'm loving my flowers and fruit trees and enjoy sharing the bounty. This was the first year that I grew my own Profusion Zinnias and a few others, so fun! Come March I can hardly sleep cuz I'm scheming and dreaming...so much to learn and try. I grab a few seedheads when I visit friends' gardens; getting pretty good at making a quick envelope to store them in..... Great thread.


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wow! im so impressed by everyone's responses and stories!
i now know im not the only one to have started young haha!!
keep the stories coming if you've got em!


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I have been doing grapes for about 5 years now and used to have pumpkins and other melons but now all grapes. I love to watch them grow and learn from the experts and have gotten better every year. I live in Mn and sometimes it can be tricky with the weather and the experts help out to get me through the tough years. We make the best grape and honey Jack grape jelly in Mn we haven't got enough grapes to do wine but maybe after the new vines get mature we will. Just an FYI Mn has the richest soil in the world and eventually will have the best wines so look out west coast.


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When I was small my dad would spade up the garden spot behind the garage and in front next to the front porch. Then it was my sibs and my job to "break up the clods" while my dad went in and had a beer. When we had adequately performed the task he would come out and plant the seeds. Needless to say I didn't garden much once I got out on my own. But I rented the back of a small house in Denver in the early seventies and the landlord told me he'd bring manure for me to garden when I mentioned to him that it looked like someone had had a garden in one spot in the yard. He did, and I planted it in vegs of various kinds. Have had various veg gardens in many different places since- Tempe AZ, Buffalo NY, Flagstaff Az, Spokane WA, San Diego CA, and now here is SD, where I discovered flowers.


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