My ‘garden’

My very first ripe tomato

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.

My "garden."

(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.


12 Responses to My ‘garden’

  1. Lisa Y. says:

    Love this post. I grew up slaving away in our garden too, but I never thought about the irony. I guess we always want what we can’t have until we give up or find a way to get it. :)

    • Thanks, Lisa! Yes, I was certainly convinced that I would never never never never have a garden. However, I did not appreciate fresh vegetables and home cooking until way later. I guess I’m a late bloomer. (Pun intended.)


  2. I love it. My mom is a great gardener, but I definitely do not have a green thumb. I love eating the yummy garden fresh vegetables that she gives me though. : )

    • Thanks, Abby! And I don’t know – you could surprise yourself! As recently as two months ago I was convinced I couldn’t keep anything alive. Then, a friend taught me how to tell if a plant needs water and … BOOM. Suddenly I can keep a tomato plant alive. Don’t give up! And thanks for reading. :)

  3. quilt32 says:

    There is nothing in the world like your first ripe tomato. Loved the post.

    • Hi there! Thanks so much for checking out my post. :) I haven’t eaten my tomato yet, but plan to any day now! I intend to eat it simply sliced up so that I can taste all the homegrown goodness. Well, maybe with just a little salt. ;)

      Loved your Civil War quilt post! The photos at the end reminded me of ones my dad would buy at flea markets, etc., and hang on the wall. He has always been fascinated by old photographs (and the Civil War). :)

  4. […] now that I’m ridiculously excited over my “garden,” I’m making big plans for container gardening next […]

  5. Hal says:

    Woot! I missed this post–but I’m so glad things are working out!

    • Thanks – well, you truly inspired me. You should see how much better my indoor plant is doing. And I can actually grow things! Who knew! Thanks for your advice and encouragement, Hallie Bear. :)

  6. Sandra says:

    Well, you should be proud of yourself for growing your first own tomato. That’s a great start.

    • Thank you! And my wandering jew plant has been thriving! The purple is really starting to come out and shine. :) Turns out, all it needed was a lot better TLC and some plant food.

  7. […] lucky to have my pantry stocked with the good stuff. And after my little garden, I can’t wait to try out some actual container gardening next year! Advertisement […]

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