Last week Homegrown, our gardening show on Martha Stewart Living Radio ran a "What was your big green thumb moment?" contest. Below are the three finalists for the contest. Please vote on your favorite story in the POLL. The person with the most votes wins the contest. Winner receives a mower or composting bin!
Please note: The poll closes on Monday, March 16 at 11:59 PM EST. On Tuesday, March 17, please tune in to Homegrown on Sirius 112/XM 157 between 9:00 and 10:00 AM EST to hear who won the contest.
My mom was an avid gardener during my childhood years. I truly resented this fact because she would often ask me to help weed (a task I loathed) and I felt she wasted much of her day in the garden. I vowed to her that I would never ever have a garden. She knowingly listened, but said, "It's great therapy. You'll feel differently about gardening when you are older. It is in the genes." I knew at that moment that she was wrong.
Well, much to my surprise, she was right. I do not know exactly how it happened, but once I moved into my own home, one of the first things I wanted to do was plant a garden! I did not even realize the irony until one day, while I was proudly showing my sister my herb garden, I began to chuckle to myself as I heard my mom's words echoing in my mind. She was right! Not only did I have a garden, I loved every second of it and felt the same sense of accomplishment that she did as I gazed upon my small albeit well-stocked herb garden. Now I could never imagine life without a garden.
I owe my passion for gardening to a woman who passed away months before we bought her house in early November. The scraggly backyard was uninspiring. Come spring though, gifts started appearing. Wide leaves folded around the tiny white bells of lily of the valley. Delicate bouquets of bridal wreath welcomed me at the front door. Peonies provided blooms to float in a glass bowl. The scent of a mock orange was intoxicating. Later, I harvested blackberries, and made jelly from the purple elderberries. All this without lifting a finger, I thought, just imagine what I could do once I invested some thought and work. Never having gardened before, I devoured garden books, and eagerly experimented with their many ideas. I grew carrots and covered them in hay, harvesting all winter. From the pride of production, I learned to enjoy vegetables I had avoided, like broccoli, peppers and onions.
Every meal I announced "This is from our own garden," a pleasure I continue to this day, 30 years on. But for the gifts of that first garden, I might never have been seduced by the pleasures of ornamentals and the superior taste and pride of growing my own food.
I'm a student who shares a one-bedroom apartment in an urban neighborhood with my husband. My patio is roughly the size of a twin bed -- not enough room to create an outdoor room, but too much space to leave bare. Last spring was our first as a married couple and we were feeling our space needed a fresh beginning (just like us!).
Since we're on a budget and into being as self-sufficient as possible, we decided to turn our little patio into a garden. After some lengthy research, we gathered our containers and began planting. The garden started out with dwarf fruit trees, heirloom tomatoes, berries and lots of great herbs. As summer drew on, the plant list expanded to include almost every basic (and exotic!) garden staple imaginable.
We practiced companion planting so we could keep our garden as condensed and organically grown as possible. The most incredible moment of our first garden was biting into fresh baby-sized watermelon in the heat of summer. I've never tasted sweeter. All the naysayers believed we were crazy for trying it, but now they're asking when they can expect some more great food from our little garden!