Herrin Family Rocks

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Gardening Roots

I have had a deep love of gardening since I was just a small child. My Grandmothers (both of them) were gardeners and had the most beautiful flowers, vegetables and herbs. My Dad also inherited this love of gardening and when my Grandmothers both passed at a very young age, he became my gardening mentor. He was the greatest gardener that I have ever known. He knew all the tricks, the old fashioned farmer remedies, the time to plant, harvest, clean, he knew it all. I am so fortunate that he passed most of that on to me. He firmly believed in planting by the moon, knew the perfect ripeness of a tomato and just when the okra was ready to harvest.

Before I moved to Atlanta in 1998, gardening was my only love and hobby. I sewed a little, crocheted a little, and did some other crafts, but you could find me every weekend in the summer either in the gardens or in my greenhouse. I developed a love of herbs and studied them endlessly for many years. I grew heirloom tomatoes, all different kinds, wildflowers, herbs, roses, veggies and always had cuttings in the greenhouse. When I moved here, I left all that behind, and as I was trying to establish my life, I found that I didn't have as much time for gardening, and what was worse, no space. So, over the years (I have been here 13 years), I have sort of replaced gardening with lots of other hobbies, mostly quilting and knitting. I still have pots on the deck and a big border down the side of my front yard that I grow in. I have an herb garden, roses, and each year, I try to grow veggies in a small raised bed on the side of my house. I have not had the success here that I had in SC with my gardens and each year as spring approaches, I feel that churning in my stomach to start seeds and start planning for the planting season. I have never lost that anticipation of the upcoming garden season, even when my plantings were not successful. I miss my days in SC sometimes and long for the days when my Dad and I compared our tomatoes to see who had the best ones. My Dad passed away in 1994, and I still miss him so much. I bet he is growing the most beautiful tomatoes in his garden in heaven.


Pretentious Wombat said...

I find that I go through gardening phases. I haven't done any in years but I think I just may dabble a bit this year. Perhaps just a few pots of herbs might be the thing to get going on a small scale.

My grandfather used to have a vegetable garden and I remember getting fresh leaf lettuce for salads when we would visit. He kept that up as long as I can remember and he lived into his 90's. I think I could handle growing a bit of lettuce in his memory. :-)

Lynn said...

I think you should grow some lettuce just in his memory! Gardening is probably my most favorite thing of all time. Did you know that plants are the only living things that make their own food?