Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why Do You Garden?

South Texas Wildflowers
What is it about gardening that gets you hooked?  Everyone has there own reason, but I have many.  I don't know which one I would fine the most prominent.  Being outdoors in the sunshine and feeling an early morning breeze is a great way to start any day.  There is satisfaction in nurturing something and watching it form into a beautiful part of my landscape.  Eating the vegetables that have been cultivated with my own hands is an enjoyment. 

Cultivating the land did not start out  being referred to as a hobby, it was a way of life and survival.  I grew up learning the technique of gardening from my grandma, my mom, my aunts and my uncles.  I acquired everything from planting the seeds, nurturing the harvest and preserving the rewards .  I wonder if they ever imagined I would do my best to keep the traditions alive?  I know I spent more time in my younger days complaining about weeding the garden than I did being thankful for the harvest.

My mother also taught me it is important to be as frugal as possible.  So I have a rule to never pay for anything that has been provided to me by nature.  When I purchased my current residence there was no landscape in the front yard,  not even a tree.  The house caught our eye because it is open and full of light.  We could handle the grooming at some point later.  Once settled in we began to consider options for our yard.  The neighborhood is quiet and the lawns are well cared for with a variety of trees lining the street.  I knew it wouldn't be difficult to find a small seedling to hold on to.  Within a week I found one that suited my needs.  I dug the sprout up and placed it in one of my gardening containers with plenty of soil and compost.  Later that same fall we planted the tree on the front lawn.  Today it proudly towers  above the house offering shade.  I pass the tree and I am reminded how it was saved from someones lawn mower.

Growing up there was a white trellis climbing the height of the front porch of our home.  I always remember the beautiful roses intertwined around that criss-crossed planks.  I wanted to grow roses that pretty and fragrant, but hesitant to pay for a bush that may or may not survive.  I persuaded a friend to offer several clippings from the roses growing in her back yard.  I brought them home and placed the branches in a mixture of compost and potting soil.  Adding a growth hormone purchased from my local nursery the plants showed new growth within a few weeks.  Keep the soil moist, but not so moist that the rose rots instead of roots.  I now have two nice rose bushes which I prepare additional starts from to pass on.

One final thought for today...if you have never been fortunate enough to enjoy the abundance of widflower that blankets South Texas in the spring you might want to make the journey.  It is an amazing sight.

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