Growing up in the deep South, I’m not sure I ever met a woman who didn’t have a garden or house plants. My Mother, my Grandmother, and most of my Aunts all had some kind of garden, usually flowers and other beautiful plants. We would visit my Grandmother’s house in Palmerdale, and she had a virtual jungle for me and my siblings to explore and never leave her property. She also had a greenhouse that she tended regularly. I have vivid memories of the L-shaped fish pond banked with thick foliage, and the overwhelming smell of mint every summer in her yard, as well as the small truck farm she managed in a big field in front of her house where she grew vegetables and grapes. My Mother grew roses and azaleas, along with other tropical and house plants and her yard looked amazing up until the day she died. When I was little, she used to take me to her Garden Club meetings, and all the kids got to pick out a vegetable to plant one year in our own little garden she helped us cultivate. Me and my siblings all inherited various levels of the green thumb, and we all love getting our hands dirty to grow plants. As we all got older and left the nest, our own homes were graced with plants we lovingly grew from clipping she would give us.
In the last six years of doing volunteer work at Ruffner Mountain, I developed a new-found joy of gardening. Among the volunteer work we do, raising native species is in the forefront and a project we all truly love. Taking some pointers from my Ruffner friends, I cleared a spot in the woods behind my house and grew some wildflowers for my first pollinator garden this year.
I am forever grateful to my amazing mother for instilling this passion for gardening and the beauty of the natural world to me!