My First Gardening Experience
Ahhhh…gardening. There’s something calming about working in the dirt with growing, living things, even if I’m just weeding. I’ve been doing some kind of gardening since I was around 5 or 6 years old… so, literally decades!
I know when my interest in gardening started… We had a next-door neighbor who made his garden plot right on our shared property line. What had started as just a flat rectangle of dirt, slowly grew into a bunch of small green plants. After a while they had small flowers, then fruit. It was so cool to watch this slowly unfold right in front of me!
Thanks to my dad’s love of ham and bean soup, and a mother who was a wonderful cook who liked to make dinners that my dad appreciated, while I was in the kitchen watching my mom making said soup I started eyeing all those dry beans and asked if I could have a couple of them. My mom asked why I wanted them and I said I wanted to plant them. She said, “Sure.” And gave me a few beans. She didn’t ask me where I was going to try to grow them. I guess she figured I’d just put them outside in the ground near the house.
I think I checked on those beans every day. And it didn’t take long before there were tiny little green sprouts right where I had buried those beans!
Of course I wasn’t the only one who noticed those sprouts… Our dear neighbor also noticed them and knew what they were, and he also knew that he hadn’t planted them!
I never knew if he had seen me plant them, if my parents knew I planted them there, or if he just figured it out (since I was always checking out his garden), but he knew I was the one who planted them.
He let them grow for a few days before he asked me if I knew where those plants came from. I hung my head, not knowing how much trouble I might be in, and answered very quietly, “Yes, I know. I planted some dry beans there.”
Now people all react differently to things, and he was very protective and proud of his garden, but this man was so gracious and kind… Instead of yelling at me, he drew off a corner of his garden and told me I could grow whatever I wanted there! I just had to pull the weeds and take care of it.
What an incredible man! He very well could have yelled at me. But he didn’t, and instead a love of gardening was born!