We always had plants growing throughout my childhood home. The smaller plants seemed to practically maintain themselves due to our mother’s knack for caring for living and growing things. It was the larger (tropical sort of plants) looming in the Living room corners that required more effort and attention. Those ever thirsty plants soaked up pitcher upon pitcher of water through their deep, tentacle-like roots, yet always seemed to be silently reaching out for more. They also had to be held in place, wrapped by string, staked to a pole to keep the weight of their great, green limbs upright.
My mother also enjoyed tending to flowers (such as Lily of the Valley and purple Irises), some in the front yard, some in the back, as well as a very precisely set up (I know just how precisely, I used to help) vegetable garden.
My connection to the back yard garden began early. At the age of four, I joined my mother in the kitchen as she washed some dishes one rainy day after I had finished playing in the wet, muddy garden. I wanted to proudly share what I had found there and exclaimed, “Mommy, look what I’ve got!” I opened my hands and revealed to her a curled up ball of worms, unfurling and dropping to her freshly cleaned floor! She shrieked. Needless to say, it was not the response my four year old, inquisitive self was expecting but it did not deter me in the least from seeking out further adventures from that point forward!