Today is a big day for me – the launching of this blog and the commitment to a new way of living life. I am honored that you may be joining me on the journey.
I love plants of all kinds – annuals and perennials, trees and shrubs, tropicals and houseplants. I am passionate about combining plants in containers and growing fruits and vegetables. Gardening has been a part of my life from my very first memories. Plunging seeds into a small patch of my mother’s flower garden; the sweetness of strawberries eaten in the garden; husking bushels upon bushels of sweet corn; and breathing in the perfume of peonies, irises and lilacs are just a few.
After my husband and I built our home, I created a country garden complete with borders of annuals and perennials in sun, shade gardens filled with hostas and ferns, and a small pond. My landscape was a labor of love, a source of pride.
But somewhere along the garden path, I lost my way. I took a wrong turn and ended up out of the garden. I was (and continue to struggle with being) a workaholic. As the manager of a garden center in the Chicago suburbs, I worked seven-day, eighty-hour weeks. In the busy spring season, it was not unusual for me to work at the garden center from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., pick up fast food on the way home, and after thirty minutes with the family, be back to work on the couch with a computer on my lap until the wee hours.
I kept up this pattern for several years, and my once beautiful landscape became an untended weed patch. I resisted the temptation to stroll through the shade garden and survey my sunny borders because I couldn’t bear to witness the decline. As a result some plants died, others took advantage and bullied their way across the garden, and weeds saw their chance to move in rent free.
All that fast food and lack of sleep were not ingredients of a healthy lifestyle. Besides weight gain and a lack of emotional and physical energy, my blood pressure and knees reminded me daily of the damage I was doing.
My world changed when my first grandson was born in February of 2014. I fell in love like never before. If you are a grandparent you know about this all-consuming, heart-swelling affection that suddenly puts life in perspective.
Every Friday became Jack Day – a day just for my grandson and me. And I returned to the garden. I spent that year beginning to reclaim my landscape and I was never happier. It was work and there have been challenges and setbacks. I backslid to my old ways at the garden center last spring, but got back on track in fall.
I am determined to stay the course, determined to keep my life in balance and continue on my garden path.
This blog is the next step of the journey. I want everyone to feel a little garden joy, savor the taste of freshly-picked fruits and vegetables, take pleasure in the fragrance of garden flowers, and delight in birds, bees and butterflies flitting about the garden. Garden with me!