Years ago after we moved to Connecticut from California, I was stuck in a dead end job. I started a small backyard garden as a weekend project that became something more than that. My companion was the James Crockett book “The Victory Garden”. The first plot was a 12’ by 12’ garden detailed in that book. I grew vegetables, herbs and a few marigolds.
But that was not my first introduction to growing plants. I have an indelible memory of my grandfather’s garden where I grew up in California. He was from the old country and his backyard was a model of German efficiency. In a small 1950’s yard he had four fruit trees, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. The south facing fence was lined with roses and faced rows of pole beans. There was a tangerine tree that was so large there was a 12’ ladder underneath where we would climb for the summer snacks. But what I remember most was him teaching me how to rid the tomato plants of the giant green worms. He would hand me his his pruning knife and we’d slice them in two. Even back in 50’s he practiced organic pest control.
It’s amazing what you can remember even as a five year old boy. That is the gift of gardening- a lifelong path where there is always something new to learn and grow from. I garden to grow; from crystal clear memories of sunny days in my grandfather’s backyard to planting a standard lilac in my daughter’s first home in Connecticut. I grow for a variety of reasons – to relax, to sustain, to share and to connect with the natural world.
Over the years I have visited with hundreds of garden center staff and owners who share a passion for growing; all unique and many with a fascinating story behind it all. These are the stories to cherish and share.
What is your story; what are the generational connections that brought you to begin your gardening journey and your passion to grow? I think there is much more to share and connections to make with your customers and the community you serve. That’s what makes you and your business unique and that is the story I want you to share.
How did you start your gardening journey? How and why do you continue to grow?