Budding Gardener

gar-den-ernoun, a person who tends and cultivates a garden as a pastime; any person who is skillful at growing plants; someone who enjoys working in their own garden growing flowers, or vegetables.

(my goal…).

Growing up, I didn’t do much in the way of gardening, but remember following some of my family members down the sun-warmed rows of their gardens.

I appreciated the way the cooks in my family could turn that harvest into some of the tastiest meals that I have ever eaten. There is nothing quite like a meal of fresh garden produce, crowned with a wedge of southern cornbread and ripe tomato. 

I have always loved plants and enjoyed the beauty they add to any decor. Regardless of your style, there seems to be a plant or flower to accent perfectly.

Victorian antiques look lovely with classic roses, a bit of southern charm is always bettered by the multiple lacy petals of a peony, the scent of a lilac, or a lazy droop of wisteria. How about a rockscape with succulents?

Whether indoors or out, plants, flower, trees, and vines seem to make everything better.

My kids used to say that I had a brown thumb, because regardless of the variety, plants and flowers just seem to wither in my presence.

Perhaps it was less about my skills and more about having 3 sons, very close in age, homeschooling them and having a home business, as well as my volunteering opportunities.

I tried to seek houseplants that thrived on neglect and low light at one point.

Later, moving into a larger home with a great sun-room, I again got hopeful about my chance to have lush houseplants and vases of fresh cut bouquets gracing my surfaces.

When we moved the kids off to college and had a little more free time, I became a little more focused on my houseplants, envisioned  turning a storage building into a potting shed, and started working more in my flower beds.

I tried to pick up tips, making notes in a journal, and scavenged yard sales and book fairs for good how-to books. Most good tips are timeless, even if the book seems a little outdated, right?


I confess, I never quite grew the sought-after flowers, nor did my veggies feed multitudes, but my journal became a lot fatter and we did have a few small triumphs and a funny story or two.

Like the year we tried a lasagna garden technique using our own compost mix, and grew the best accidental garden to date, from the seeds not- yet- broken- down in our compost. Also, since we lived in a small town and didn’t have one, I remember stopping by a well-known coffee bar to get large bags of used grounds for our garden each time that we traveled out of town. On our return trip, the entire SUV smelled like a fresh cuppa joe. One time, we added the coffee grounds, fresh compost, and soil to our raised beds, turned on the sprinkler and went inside to shower. Our sweet white pup found a lovely puddle formed from the runoff and happily dyed himself a nice shade of mocha….lol.

Upon relocating  to a different area, I decided that being in a new-to-me growing zone and not knowing anyone, it would be a good to join a garden club and solve both problems. Making friends in the club, I am constantly learning new things and bringing home fledgling cuttings to challenge my nurturing skills. I have completed one Landscape Design course so far with plans to continue more.

After moving around a few times to learn the area, the Hubs, Chloe, and I are happy homeowners now and steadily working on the landscape.

Well, enough for now. The garden is calling and I have much work to do.  I hope you enjoy seeing some of our latest blossoms.

Please feel free to share any garden tips you have in the comments and posts on my Facebook page, Traveling Ancient Paths, and sign up to get my blog and newsletter updates.

For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up before all the nations. -Isaiah 61:11.



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