Plants have been part of my life as long as I can remember. My very earliest memory is walking Pike Place Market in Seattle with my grandmother picking from buckets of cut lilacs many years ago. I also vividly remember bringing home the many plants and flowers Mom received when giving birth to my little brother when I was three. The plants I remember, I’m sure he was there somewhere too!
An entirely different feeling was the planting of a special rose bush when the family cat passed away when I was seven. I remember it like it was yesterday.
We moved a lot, so there were tropical gardens and not so tropical gardens. My parents planted only flower gardens, but grandma and grandpa…there were plenty of flowers, but the focus was clearly on the vegetables. We kids spent summers on the old family farm hiking in the woods, swimming in the ponds, and weeding, watering, weeding, picking, more weeding, and finally canning and freezing much of the produce from the acre vegetable garden that my grandparents grew.
In my early twenties I re-discovered that not only did I love to cook (okay, I also love to eat!) but I NEEDED to plant. Didn’t matter if it was a summer rental with friends…there were planters and things were GROWING! I later realized that my passion for gardening didn’t depend on duration of occupation. I’ve gardened at rental properties with equal the zeal that I’ve gardened at homes that I …well, thought were forever.
I think the instinct is intrinsic. If you’re a gardener, you’re a gardener. It really doesn’t matter where you are. You must grow things you love, and yes, what you love may (okay, will) change. We grow, and at the same time WE grow. No two seasons are ever the same. I’d like to think it was the same for my parents and grandparents.