My interest in gardening began as a child where I was allowed to plant and water a north facing window box. Unsurprisingly the plants did poorly, but I was happy pottering away at my marigolds and petunias. I enjoyed indoor plants during my high school and college years when I killed my fair share of succulents, miniature roses etc. In my 20’s I had the benefit of rental homes and attempting to grow plants in a temporary situation. I experimented with wildflowers in a miniature 6ft by 3ft space at our duplex in Indiana and grew impatiens in the deep shade of our tiny Kansas City rental.
During my years of residency, digging in the dirt was therapeutic after stressful days or nights at the hospital. The Oregon weather was great for growing. I planted fabulous allium bulbs and tried to keep deer out of my tiny veg patch. Deer resistant meant nothing those munchers! We rehabbed the ugly lawn and trimmed up all the hedges but after 3 years the homeowners retired and we needed to find a new home. That second residency rental was a doozy with a minuscule yard but a giant weedy slope at the back. Although there were less opportunities for gardening, I did get to practice rose care and more growing in containers.
Finally in 2015, after finishing my training we bought our first home in Eastern Washington. It was a large Victorian home built in 1901 on a good sized lot in town. Both the house and the yard needed serious work and being young and naive we dove right in. Over the next five years, our home and yard were in a constant state of construction. The house was completely overhauled: new wiring, new heating and air, new walls, new carpet, and a completely new kitchen. The list goes on and on. The yard needed serious work with a lawn growing solely goat head and puncture vine and lilac bushes overtaking every corner. In those same five years we planted a new lawn, cut back decades of uncontrolled trees and bushes, added fruit trees, built trellises, planted a vegetable garden with a deer proof garden fence, and redid all the planting directly around the house. I was very proud of all this work, but if you’ve ever owned a historic home, the projects never end. So onto our current adventure.
In the spring of 2020, I completed a Master Gardener course through the local land-grant university. The hours of learning and lectures were invaluable to round out my self-taught horticulture knowledge. Shortly thereafter we moved to Oregon and onto my next gardening challenge. I look forward to getting involved with the local Master Gardeners to serve my community and continue my education. But in the meantime, I will keep digging in my own dirt.
“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful’ and sitting in the shade.”Rudyard Kipling