When my old house was on the Historic Home Tour several years ago, I had one of those ‘light bulb moments.’ It was the first time I met fellow column writer here, Holly Lindzy, as she traipsed through my yard taking pictures and then came up to me and asked, “are you the gardener?” I looked back at her blankly, thinking “am I the what?” Then I guess I mumbled that yes, I was the gardener.
And from then on, in part thanks to Holly’s confidence in my humble little garden and the fact that I could clearly see I was actually growing things, I’ve known I’m a gardener. I love having my hands in the dirt, turning the soil, sticking in plants and seeds and seeing what happens.
I love my flowers and how right now my flowerbeds around my house are a sea of wildflowers—white Shasta daisies and purple coneflowers, that divide and spread with no effort from me. I’m also growing fruits and vegetables, and it’s such a thrill for me and my children to go pick some tomatoes—organic of course—right from outside our back door.
More and more people, it seems, are forgoing the grass, making gardens, and growing some of their own food on their urban or suburban land. I’ve always preferred gardens to grass. A couple of months ago I was at a party and met two fascinating women that have transformed five vacant city lots on the near Eastside of Indy into a certified wildlife habitat, orchard, and organic heirloom gardens, complete with native plants and installation art.
I can’t wait to take a trip down there to visit, and just a couple weeks ago I was at (another) party at my friend Linda’s. Her backyard is gorgeous and inspiring, from the fairy swing hanging from the maple to a brick patio made with reclaimed bricks from her sidewalk that was replaced to a large vegetable garden and flowers throughout the winding paths.
All of this makes me want to go get grounded in the earth, to plant more, to be the caretaker of something that is beautiful and thriving. It’s good for the earth and good for the soul.