Gossip in the Garden

Harmony in the Garden's Chattier Side

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Last day of summer in our veggie patch

Today is the last day of summer for my daughter and one that’s always a little sad for me.

While part of me relishes the fact that she’ll be going back to school leaving me plenty of time to write and design, part of me will really miss her company.

The older Emily gets, the more fun we seem to have and with only 2 years left of high school I can hear the big clock ticking away each precious day that I have left with her living under my roof.

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Ever since she was a little girl, she’s always loved picking fresh vegetables in the garden.  It started when she was about 2 and just learning to walk (she was a very late walker!)  She’d toddle on over to the pineapple sage and grab a handful to eat – yes, raw! Between our rabbit that lived wild in our garden and Emily, that poor sage never grew over 2 feet!

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I quickly realized that if I wanted her to eat vegetables, I’d have the best luck if I let her discover the joy of picking them ‘all by herself’.  And from that point on we’ve always grown peas, beans, tomatoes (the tiny, super sweet ones that taste like candy), potatoes and, yes, pineapple sage.  To this day she eats tons of veggies – more than most of her friends who come over for dinner and rarely touch their salads!

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It makes me so happy that after all these years, she still gets excited about the prospect of dumping over our big tub of potatoes and digging through the dirt to find them!

Here’s to a great summer and a wonderful new school year!

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19 Responses to Last day of summer in our veggie patch

  1. It saddens me when I think of all the children that have never had an opportunity to spend time in the garden as they grow up. I cherish those memories. I often find myself encouraging parents, even those who don’t like to garden, to at least help their children plant a little something, even a pizza garden in pots. I’ve always taken it for granted, and I expect Emily has too. A lot of my own inspiration and motivation in gardening, and cooking, I know comes from the foundation I was given as a child. From my very own ‘strawberry patch’ at age 6, to harvesting, and helping to prepare foods from the garden, it’s stuck with me for a lifetime. I’m sure as soon as Emily has her own home, with her very own garden, she’ll enjoy growing many of the same plants, and probably plant a little extra pineapple sage in her herb garden. What you’ve given her is a wonderful gift that will last a lifetime.

    • Curbstone – what a thoughtful comment, and one that I agree with wholeheartedly. As a landscape designer, I come across so many people who are so out of touch with their gardens, and have no real desire to learn anything about them, but rather just want them to look good, all the time. I always feel so sad for their kids who will never know the joy of randomly grazing in a vegetable patch (no matter how small it might be). I hope you’re right re: Emily and her future with gardening. Right now, I have to muster all the creativity I can to lure her into the garden. She’d SO much rather be at the mall!! Thanks for leaving your thoughts! 🙂

  2. My parents were very tolerant of me following them around in the garden while growing up, despite the many prized plants that I’m sure I accidentally crushed or picked. Now that I’ve returned from college and have my own garden, my parents and I swap seedlings and sedums. Other friends that are just starting to garden are always asking me where I learned which plants are weeds, what plants are called, and which shovel to use- I guess it would be much harder to start a garden as an adult if my parents hadn’t taught me so much.

  3. Sometimes we don’t realize what our children learn from us. I didn’t always see the enthusiasm in my children that I had when we would garden together. However, as adults, they are both avid gardeners. My mother was not a gardener but my aunt was and I followed her around on my hands and knees watching everything she did. That’s why I think it is important to promote school gardens so that every child can have a chance to develop this interest.

    Eileen

  4. I’m pretty sure you’ll still have a gardening buddy in her, even when she leaves for school. Mine is 23 and loves to cook from my garden and hasn’t gotten tired of garden center trips yet. Mine leave in a few weeks and yes, time to write is good too.

    • Oh how I wish, Rhonda! Emily hates garden centers with a passion. I think I made her go one too many times as a young child. But I’m pretty sure she’ll plant a vegetable garden when she’s got a family of her own – so it’s not all lost!! Best of luck with your daughter leaving for college (and you, too!) 🙂