When I was growing up (in the mountains of NC), my mom and step-dad had (and still have) a decent sized garden.
And, naturally, as one of their 6 children, it was my colonial-style duty to help dig, plant, hoe, weed, pick and can.
My sister Dee and I used to wear bikinis and sneakers hoping to at least get a tan out of the deal. (My parents were usually pretty late planters, so there was plenty of sun. Nothing like Florida, but still.)
Once, I managed to plant about three rows of onions upside-down before anyone noticed.
My mom thought it was hilarious. She laughed and laughed. I, on the other hand, the person who had to go back and dig up and re-plant said onions was not laughing.
My mom asked me once after the 20th bag of green beans were hauled to the top of the hill (to be strung and broken): “Ginny, do you think you’ll ever have a garden?”
It was my turn to laugh. I said, “No way. It’s too much work.”
These days, when I drive the 9 hours back home, I take empty Mason jars with me to trade in for full jars. Green beans, tomatoes, strawberry jam … the list goes on.
And, now, in the cruelest of childhood ironies, I want my own garden.
Two of my g-ville friends (Hallie and Rebekah) have inspired me to try “container” gardening. Rebekah even gave me my very first tomato plant.
I’ve started very modestly: two tomato plants, basil, and parsley. I also brought back to life my “wandering jew” plant (thanks for the encouragement Hallie and Jen!) and am waiting on some flower bulbs given out at my friend Ali’s beautiful wedding to bloom.
(I always thought I had a black thumb. Turns out, I was just bad at watering — or over-watering — my house plants.)
So here I am, nearly a decade after feeling more than substantial relief of not having to slave away in the garden, so flipping giddy about my tiny red tomato.
Ask my husband. I ask him every (single) day if he notices how “much redder” it is today.
Oh the irony.