Gardening: What IS the Gardener’s Reward?

fall spirea with bunny Adventures of a Middle Age MomMy Dad was a vegetable gardener. My Mom was an herb gardener. And Me? I am a little-bit-of-everything gardener. Relatives on both sides of my family were (and are) farmers, so you could say that in my urban-suburban yard that I am living out my destiny. Gardening is in my blood. And dirt is certainly under my fingernails!

fall hydrangea at Adventures of a Middle Age MomI love nothing more than trying to figure out how to grow different plants in my gardens. One year it was corn. The ears of corn, although very tasty, had kernels missing in every row! Another year it was holly hocks. The holly hocks were the deepest blue I’d ever seen. And yet-another year it was mint. I spent the following summer smelling like chewing gum as I pulled the mint that had spread all over our yard! Gardening has given me many hours of joy. And frustration!

Are you a gardener? Do you pore over seed and plant catalogs during the dreary days of winter as you dream of the “what ifs.” Do you rush outside to begin your gardening season before the “all clear from frost” planting date?

fall veggie garden Adventures of a Middle Age Mom

My husband Mike can attest to the hours I put into soaking then planting bare root roses — shrubs, tree and climbers — around this garden. And the days I spent digging the dozen planting holes around our driveway then wrestling in the super huge-rooted laurels. And moving the boxwoods, 24 of them, 3 times, until I achieved perfect garden symmetry.

We’ve been in this home, this garden for more than 16 years now. And my garden, much like its chief gardener, is mature now. My garden can get beaten up pretty badly in our northeast winters. And I can’t spend 10 consecutive hours gardening anymore…unless I want to end up in some serious physical therapy. But the plants and I continue on. As any gardener learns, once the garden has taken root, the gardener just needs to keep up — prune, pinch, feed and repeat.

I love every inch of this yard, my garden. Hydrangeas, hollies, roses, laurels, weigelias, dogwood trees, boxwoods, grasses, cherry trees, and many perennials! So when I walked outside this afternoon and the sun was hitting the west side garden just so? I stopped and admired the view.

And I gave thanks: that I was able to plant the trees, shrubs and perennials, and tend to them as they grew. They provide shelter and food for the birds and small animals who have found their way to this garden. And they provide me with endless beautiful views, which I consider the best reward of gardening.

fall garden path at Adventures of a Middle Age Mom


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One Response to Gardening: What IS the Gardener’s Reward?

  1. Ironically, because I am a GARDNER, I am a terrible GARDENER.

    I also have dogs who would eat anything I ever tried to plant in the yard.
    So I envy you your lovely gardens, your rewards for the hard work.

    They are well-deserved.

    p.s. Hydrangeas are my absolute favorite.

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