Does gardening run in your family?

alicia7b(z7b/8aNC)March 17, 2008

There was probably a similar thread a few years back but I couldn't find one. Is gardening a hobby that runs in your family or are you an oddball?

My grandfather loved to garden. My mother gardens too but doesn't seem to love it -- she doesn't amend, doesn't do any research and seems to complain about it all of the time. Plus, she actually spends a lot of time in the woods picking up sticks! How crazy is that?! So I think the love of gardening kind of skipped a generation.

What about you and your family?

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My father was a fabulous gardener. I was his helper(alot of scut work!! Weeding, etc) But I picked up the love of plants. The rest I learned in books, etc. I often wish he had lived to see my garden I have now.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 7:53PM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Well both my parents grew up on farms on the motherland, so I think it must! :)

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:24PM
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One of my early memories is of my mom with a flat of dianthus. I was fascinated with the different patterns in the blooms. When I was a little kid our family had a plot of land where we grew vegetables. We'd bicycle over there together.

My mom always loved her plants and was an Ikebana flower arranger. Tooslim, I often wish my parents could see my garden too.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 8:48PM
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I think so. Some of my earliest memories of gardening were of my Grandfather and his half acre veggie garden. I used to love to go to my Grandparents house in the summer and go out to the garden. I would help him work in the garden pulling weeds and picking the veggies. The wonderful fresh watermellon he would grow in the summer was a childs fantasy come to life! His little garden fed 7 houses in our family fresh veggies all summer and many of his neighbors as well. He tilled, planted and tended that garden till he was into his 80's. My Grandmother on the other side loved the outdoors, she wasn't much of a gardener per say, but always had chickens and fresh eggs and could tell you every plant in her yard and how to propegate it, what it liked to grow and everything about it including a book of old wives tales about each. My mother loved her yard and worked endlessly to make sure it was a gem in our neighborhood. It was relaxation for her. I've often talked to my Grandmothers and Mom about how relaxing and rewarding this hobby is. She also loved her house plants and I still have a cactus she gave me in my 20's. It was about 17 years old then and that was almost 25 years ago. It's sitting in my dining room right now at somewhere around 45 years old. I guess I kinda get my love of the outdoors and love of gardening honest! :-) What wonderful memories and thoughts this post brings to mind!!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 9:08PM
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My Dad loves it and so does my Dad-in-law. Both Moms love to potter around.

We always had gardners (help) who would dedicate one bed to one type of flower.

As kids we had Dahlia, snap dragons, sweet peas, salvias, nastis, mums dedicated to specific rows of beds, flowers which I no longer want to grow because i've had so much of them.

I have memories of my father gardening in the rain with one of the gardener's helpers holding the umbrella above his head. He loved propagating plants and would then go handing them out to neighbors or whoever cared to ask. At any given time he would have 30 of a type (of houseplant / shrub) for neghbors, just in case they asked for one...

I was the little helper who would move pots around or i was given the chore of cleaning each leaf with an oil & water mixture to give them the shine (and how i hated it).

Now I see myself doing the same. Come rain or sunshine I love getting my hands dirty in the yard. I am out digging up the yard just to reseed it. Our yard is probably the only one which is lush green just now and heavily seeded. How I feel like reaching out to the neighbors and telling them not to compare theirs to ours, just becasue this restlessness runs in the family !

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 10:49PM
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Yes my mother and her climbing roses that I was made to prune every year and why now I never want to see a rose except in a vase and pulling weeds in a vegetable garden in NYC.

Here is a link that might be useful: Propagating Perennials

    Bookmark   March 17, 2008 at 10:52PM
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My great-grandfather was a gardener and Horticulturist
who brought English boxwoods to this country with him.
My father gardens and hybridizes hemerocallis ,my
mother has roses many roses she grows for shows.
and I grew up to own a nursery
I love to garden it's in my blood.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 8:46AM
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These are wonderful stories. Please keep them coming!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 9:54AM
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As far as I can recall, my mom has always been an avid gardener. I think she was the oddball in her family. She's the eldest of 7 and neither of my grandparents had any interest in gardening, although my Nana always loved to get fresh flowers. Two of my aunts like to putter in the garden, but that's about it.

As a child, gardening represented detestable yard work to me. We lived on a forested 2 1/2 acre lot, that my mother insisted we rake every year. It seemed idiotic to me. If she didn't want that many leaves, she shouldn't have bought a wooded lot!! We had very difficult soil, rocky and mostly shade. So my sister and I would spend about 2 months every spring helping with the leaf raking. Needless to say, I hated "gardening".

When I bought my house, and later my sister did the same, we both needed to spruce up our properties and the easiest and cheapest way to do that was through landscaping. I soon found that I loved to garden and I know that came from my Mom. Now, although we live in three different parts of the country, MA, NC and FL, we trade as many plants as we can and we love to talk about what we're planting, what's blooming and what we want to buy!!! It's a really cool bond that we've developed and it only took 30 years LOL!!!

The very best part is that when my Mom comes to visit, she's always outside with my daughters, naming the different plants and smelling flowers with them. They both share the fun part of gardening and it brings tears to my eyes when I see her holding their hands and strolling through the garden together. So hopefully, since thier introduction into gardening is a positive one, they'll also enjoy it too. I won't push them into it, but I hope they'll share my passion too.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 10:50AM
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Tammy Kennedy

Yes, definitely! I remember that other thread, too, alicia, and wish we could find it- it was fun reading. Lots of new 'faces', so it's a great idea to revisit.

My mom's mom and dad both were big gardeners- he veggies and fruit trees, she flowers, houseplants and more flowers. Mom has always had a soft spot for houseplants, and that's how i got my feet wet (gramma actually bought me my first plant, which i still have- a dracaena). My mom also has gotten more into roses as she's gotten older, i think out of memories of her mom. I have wonderful memories from toddler years of playing along gram's drive with the wild chamomile, johnny jump ups, snow in summer and touch me nots (balsam). later i grew to appreciate watching the ants on the peonies, smelling the roses bloom, picking & eating plums til my tummy hurt and playing in her huge lily of the valley patch. We were privileged to live in her house for 2 1/2 years before we moved down here so i got to appreciate all of that as an adult. I wasn't nearly as into gardening as i am now, but enjoyed it all the same.

I think my dad's parents gardened out of necessity- they were dirt poor. I do know they had an apple orchard that fed them through many lean years. My dad was a great veggie gardener, and loved trees and trying to educate me in telling them apart. I learned lots at his elbow, grumbling the entire while to my eternal shame. Wish i could learn more now, i would pay much more attention. I'm glad he lived long enough to know i turned around in my views! That was about the only thing i could get him to talk about on the phone (other than grandkids!). We'd plan our gardens together in the winter on the phone 3 states apart. :'(

We built our house when i was 5, and in the woods was an old homestead where we all played that had lily of the valley, sweet williams, jonquils, daylilies, periwinkle and ferns left from the prior occupants 75+ years before us. Across the road grew all sorts of wonderful wildflowers like trilliums, phlox, trout lilies, yellow violets and false solomon's seal along a stream. It was so magical to me!

I lived with my dad's one sis for one summer in NY as a preteen when mom was sick and she had the most amazing edible landscaping garden that undoubtedly inspired me years later to try the same. I told her & my uncle that a few years ago and they were tickled. I don't think any of their kids are into it, so i'm glad i can sort of carry on her legacy.

Guess in retrospect, i could hardly avoid being bitten by the gardening bug! :) Here's hoping i pass it on to my kids.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 10:57AM
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Great thread.

I don't know how it ended up being me who has this passion, but I am certain that it could not have come from my grand father. The only plants in his yard were rotunda hollies that could take a chunck out of your leg. My Mom gardened a little, more like landscaping though. It was she who bought me my first plant, a jade, which I planted outside near the pool. I was so cool that summer with its red tinged fleashy leaves. She didn't know enough to tell me not to plant it outside in our zone 8 yard. I realized what a mistake I had made that winter when I went to check on the "shrub" and it was covered in ice. Imagine my disappointment when it did not resprout the next spring.

Mom also bought me my first bulbs, which I still find fasinating. I picked out a bag of hyacinth and planted them in a bed of gladiolus. I was SO disappointed the next spring when they bloomed at 6 in high. I was expecting them to be as tall as the glads always were.

My intense interest thus began out of shame and disappointment. I wanted to know about these neat plants that I had watched grow. I wanted to know why some would thrive and others wither. Now it's all I think about somedays.

I remembered while writing this that I had another introduction to growing things during my years at elementary school. I was in a 4-H type club and we grew a little patch of flowers and vegtables. The only thing I remember that garden yeilding was broccoli. I thought it was so cool how my favorite vegtable grew right in front of me.

I am glad that I caught the bug. soon after I realized how much fun it was I remembered my Dad's mother grew a jade plant in the utility room of her house. It had been there as long as I could remember. I visited her in St. Louis with the added intent of taking a branch of the jade for my collection, (having then mastered the technique required to keep it alive,) but to my dismay she had THROWN OUT the massive plant the week before, and had only a couple of branches that she kept to start the process over!

I figured the doom of that plant couldn't be helped, but I will be propagating a piece of the leftovers once they get large enough.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2008 at 12:52PM
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