I miss having my hands in the dirt.

In my book, I write about growing up in the country and always having a garden of some sort. My sister Bertie and I, when we lived in Newtown, Connecticut, had a yearly ritual of planting marigolds and zinnias in a small plot right in front of our house. We planted them from seed, turning the soil over with a fork and making neat rows. I used to love to water them and watch every day for the tiny green sprouts to push their way up through the dirt.

In another plot at the side of the house, I had a big red poppy plant that was my pride and joy, and we also had peonies, lily of the valley and daffodils that grew wild in various parts of our acre yard, and which we tended with care. Azaleas and purple and white lilacs with their heady scent graced the entrance to our house. Bertie and I used to prune them every year, along with the barberry bushes that grew alongside the stone steps leading to our back yard.

But what I missed in my Connecticut gardening adventures was growing vegetables. When we used to live on Long Island, we had a small vegetable garden. Much as I love flowers, there was no bigger thrill to me as a small child than picking fresh peas in the pod and eating them raw, or pulling a fresh head of curly lettuce out of the ground, or yanking up juicy orange carrots. It seemed like a little miracle to me that such wonderful things could grow in the ground.

Now I’m a city soul and it’s been years since I’ve had my hands (and feet) in the dirt. I have to confess I sometimes fantasize about having a little plot of land out in the country somewhere, perhaps with a small pond, and lots of space to plant things.



Filed under gardening

8 responses to “Gardening

  1. Venia

    I love Gardening. The miracle of watching something grow from a nurtured seed is beautiful. The reflections of Mind.

  2. Jess L.

    I grew up in the city and my mom had houseplants on all the windowsills, but she also served no vegetables except canned. I had no interest in gardening or cooking until I had my own family, and ended up replacing our front lawn (in suburban MA) with an organic vegetable garden. Now I am back in the city and miss gardening, but not the responsibility of having to keep the front of the house looking reasonably neat.

  3. You just reminded me that that’s probably the reason we didn’t plant veggies in Connecticut…my mother always served canned or frozen ones!
    I tried having houseplants here in Brazil, but they attracted too many critters.

  4. Libby Unwin

    I live in the woods–I’m still doing gardening!! I love dirt too!! I grow summer flowers and Rhodos and crocus (they are blooming now!), and lots of day lilies!! My favorite is nasturtiums. Mom and I would plant them every year in my little garden with marigolds too! I guess gardening is a family legacy! We always had a huge veggie garden too. Mom spent all summer, canning and freezing stuff. P.S. I’m so glad you talk about Bertie too.

    Love you–Libby

  5. I remember visiting you when we were kids and we all went picking boysenberries! Yes, I guess gardening is our family “thing”…I love nasturtiums and like to eat them, too! Bertie and I did so many things together…there were just the two of us, so we did a lot of hanging out!
    Love you too, Libby.

  6. nothing compares having a lovely garden. seeing those seeds growing with excitement and like you said a miracle. I actually host a weekly gardening link up every Friday on my blog. I’d love for you to drop by and join in.

    • Hi Tiffany, thanks for your comment! My gardening days are over, but I’ll happily share your link with some Facebook friends who are just starting out on this adventure!

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