Posted on 13 February 2009 by urbangardencasual.com

My First Garden Adventures

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garden1By Vanessa Richins

These days, my life seems to revolve mainly around gardening.

I write for 3 garden websites, am starting a non-profit garden, and go around telling my friends and family all sorts of random horticulture facts.

Where did all this garden geekery start?

One influence was my great grandparents and other assorted relatives that owned farms. It was a fun day when we got to visit the hen house in search of eggs or visit a potato farm. We lived in the suburban jungle of Southern California, so it was always an adventure.

The main influence, though, was my mother. At every place we lived, she was sure to grow a beautiful garden. I was allowed to try growing my own plants. The first vegetable I remember growing outside was green beans. I loved the moment when I noticed the flower falling off, revealing the tiny beginnings of a new green bean.

I was also fascinated that we could divide the gladiolus corms (similar to a bulb) and replant them to get even more gladiolus plants. The same held true for strawberries – I loved how they sent out new babies via runners each year.

I think she is the reason I have noticed plants since I was young. In my memories of my grandma’s old house, I remember the greenery – the tree full of luscious nectarines. Sucking nectar from the Cape honeysuckle. Rubbing apart birch catkins between my fingers. Hopping on flagstones set in soft pillowy clouds of baby’s tears.

The tradition continues today. The first thing I notice in new surroundings is what plants are present. We still have adventures in her garden, whether it’s filling a soggy corner with papyrus plants or struggling to tame some unruly morning glories (note: they grow EXTREMELY well in So. Ca. – too well!).

When it comes right down to it, my mother really is the one to blame…err thank. I truly do appreciate it!

Do you garden with your kids? What activities do you do?

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