What does the offspring of a hydrangea grower and garden addict look like? Do the math and you get a kid who easily knows the difference between ground soil and potting soil (smell and all), is constantly taking pictures of wild flowers, enjoys strolling through the farmers market just to look, wants to own every type of succulent, is easily excited by watching plants grow, and needs to be surrounded by flowers at all times – you get, ME!
I didn't realize how much I truly loved gardens, flowers, and all things green and growing until I moved into my own home. It was so fun walking into an empty space, being able to furnish and decorate just the way I wanted to, except something was missing – living things! I missed the vases and pots of plants and flowers my mom had scattered around the house. I missed her flourishing garden right out the front door. I missed the view of my dad's hydrangea nursery from our porch and the thousands of colorful blooms filling the green houses. Something had to be done.
I gathered succulent centerpieces I had used for my wedding and put them all over our square of a house, including the front door step and our little patio. It wasn't enough. I talked my mom into giving me a few of her more fancy succulent gardens. I walked away with four. Things were looking better, but I still wasn't satisfied. I began purchasing flowers at Trader Joes every week, but soon grew frustrated with the constant replacing of dead stems. I needed something more permanent.
After watching the years of success in my mom's garden, I always dreamed of having my own one day that I could look after. Unfortunately this would be a while since we have no land with our studio, just a little patio that was already overflowing. I felt limited, but my "we can make it work" mother had other plans.
My mom handed me a long wooden box when I was home a few months ago, "For your patio." I was confused. "So you can have your own herb garden, and here's a Marigold to keep the bugs away." My face lit up. Ideas began racing through my head. I packed them in the back seat and hugged my mommy tight – she knew me so well.
It may have taken almost a month to finally fill that herb box, but I did it and I couldn't be more ecstatic. I feel like the prodigy of two magnificent green thumbs (I guess four). You don't realize it as a kid, but the passions and excitement of your parents stream into you like blood in your veins. They become a part of you. They keep you alive. They make you who you are, and I am no doubt the child of a hydrangea grower and garden addict.
First things first for the herb box: adding a more tasteful color to the ordinary wooden box. Our trip through the Pacific North West dazzled me with the beauty of contrasting colors: greens and browns and reds. Whether it was the bark of a redwood tree or the dirt of volcanic rock, I loved the splash of red in the forests up there. The stark red played so brilliantly with the healthy green of the trees. Naturally, on arriving back home I decided the "Redwood" color stain would do perfectly for my box.
When it came to getting the actual plants for the box, I tried to be good and research which herbs grew best in the San Luis area during this time of year. After skimming a few pages I quickly grew antsy and decided I'd just get the herbs I knew I liked and see how it goes. (Let's hope it goes well.) A trip to Farm Supply won me an assortment of herbs: chives, basil, dill, cilantro, parsley, and spinach. I grabbed a large bag of potting soil and headed back home to get a' plantin.
Of course on returning home I changed into my "gardener outfit" – complete with clogs and baggy rolled up jeans. I don't know why, but this look always screamed "hippy plant lady!" to me. Naturally, I adored it, and had to get my own pair. Don't ask; I can't explain it.
I'm fairly new to the gardening thing and forgot that some tools would be needed. Thank God for resourcefulness and a fully stocked kitchen – my soup ladle proved to be a handy shovel replacement. I'll also add that the past few months have had me watering my plants with the larger Blendtec attachment. It works quite well, but I think I've decided it's time to start collecting my own gardening gear. Maybe my mom can spare a shovel and pair of gloves next time I'm home.. (Are you reading this mom?)
Half a bag of potting soil and a muddy mess of a patio later and my beautiful herb box was ready to water and place in the sun. I've got to say, that redwood stain looks mighty grand next to the earthy brown soil and crisp green of the leaves. I love peaking out at my patio and seeing my beautiful box, full of life and yummy greens.
This post is proof that dreams do come true. I hope whoever is reading this is feeling mighty proud of their own gardening efforts or jotting down ideas of how you too can pursue your own gardener dreams. Starting small is the way to go, but don't forget to keep your dreams big! Cheesy, yeah, but true. This is just my beginning.