My Not So Green Thumb

I’m not a great gardener. I don’t have the patience. I’m annoyed that the plants need so much care. Yet, I love gardening.

I grew up in the south. My mother always had plants. She even brought her favorites from New Orleans to Texas with us when we moved. Our next-door neighbor grew strawberries and there were persimmon trees down the road.

When we moved into a big farmhouse in Texas, we had a vegetable garden. There were endless conversations about my mom’s tomato plants. In addition to the pesky tomatoes, we grew our own carrots, green onions, radishes, and loads more.

The pastor of our church turned the big field behind the church into a community garden. There were so many different kinds of greens: mustard, collard, spinach.

People would sell excesses from their gardens from the backs of their pickup trucks in parking lots. My sisters and I would be asked to help others can their fruits and vegetables so that they’d be preserved over the winter. Farm-to-table wasn’t a phrase for trendy restaurants; it was how we ate.

Along with watering in the twilight, these are some of my favorite memories.

I lived in the UK for a decade, where gardening is part of life. Container gardens, community allotments, window boxes, hanging planters – everyone gardened in some way.

I married into a family of gardeners. My mother-in-law’s garden could be on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. Her sister’s garden is the same way. My husband’s cousin is incredibly talented with flowers and did all the centerpieces and bouquets for our weddings. I, on the other hand, text pictures of things to my mother-in-law to say, “What is this?” or “Should I weed or should I keep?”

I still garden.

I can’t explain the desire to be surrounded by beautiful plants. It’s more than curb appeal. There is something incredibly relaxing about looking out the window and seeing things grow. I absolutely love having cascading ferns and big, rich hostas that remind me of my youth in the almost tropical Mississippi Delta.

Apparently there have been studies done. Gardening lowers your chance of stroke, reduces stress and even improves your immune system. I think my allergies might argue with that last one.

When I garden, I feel a sense of accomplishment and ownership. My hands are busy and I tend to get lost in the moment so I do a lot of good thinking during that time. The smells of plants and rich soil bring me back to so many feelings associated with my childhood.

For me, gardening is like singing. I don’t do it well, but that doesn’t stop me from belting out “Living on a Prayer” in the car or dancing around the kitchen to Abba. Everyone should garden whether you have a green thumb or a not.

About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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