Celebrate Gardening with Julie
As long as I can remember, gardening has been a part of my life. When I was little, my grandparents lived next door to us and my grandfather always had a beautiful vegetable garden. At the end of his garden he had a row of gladiolas. Every year he dug them up and replanted them the next spring. He loved his gladiolas.
My grandmother on the other side of the family was also a gardener. I never personally knew my grandmother because she died when I was quite young, but I remember the stories my mom would tell of her mother’s beautiful perennials. As I remember her delphiniums were her favorite flower and a great source of pride.
My mother and father always had both a vegetable garden and a flower garden. Some of my favorite plants in fact are desendants of plants that once grew in either my parents', or grandparents' gardens.
When my sisters and I were about ten we cleared a little piece of land and planted our own gardens. Our grandfather gave us daffodil and narcissus bulbs to plant in our gardens. Long after the gardens returned to the wild, the daffodils would still come up every spring.
Some people can name every car on the road. My sisters and I could name flowers or trees. We learned their names practically when we learned to talk. I don’t remember all of them anymore, but I sometimes find myself reading a flower encyclopedia and relearning the names of ones I’ve forgotten or learning new ones that I’ve never met yet.
I find gardening a very satisfying activity. I like dirt and I never tire of the miracle of watching a tiny seed shoot out stems, then leaves, buds and then a flower. The variety of the designs and the exquisite colors never cease to amaze me.
Although I've always had a garden, for many years it had to take a back seat to my career. I am a retired teacher, but even during the busiest years when I was raising my family and working full time I always had some sort of garden.
Years ago I just had a vegetable garden, but my love of perennials and my lack of time in August and September caused me to gradually replace the vegetable garden with perennials. Now I have two shade gardens, a cottage garden full of flowers, an annual cutting garden, a small water feature, a tiny rock garden, and lots of plants to encourage birds and butterflies to make their home in my yard.
I am not a trained gardener, but I love it. Everything I've learned is from personal experience, and from my friends and family. You don't have to be an expert either to have a beautiful and bountiful garden.
Gardens do not have to be fancy or even big to give you satisfaction. Your garden might consist of only a window box or a potted cherry tomato. Maybe it’s a narrow strip next to the foundation of your home or maybe it’s your whole back yard. No matter what your situation or space you can have a garden and it’s something everyone in your family can have a stake in.
The rewards of gardening are plentiful. It's good exercise. You are outside enjoying fresh air. You get to eat or enjoy everything you grow. It is a family friendly activity. You can teach yourself everything you need to know. You don't have to be a millionaire to have an awe inspiring space, and it is an outlet for your creativity.
In addition to that gardening is good for the environment, good for your health, adds beauty and sustainability to your property, and can also be a welcome refuge to all kinds of wildlife.
So why do I garden? ? I garden because it gives me immense satisfaction and pleasure. It is a creative outlet for me, as important to my soul, as air is for my body.
I love looking at and picking flowers. I love observing little birds and animals going about their business in the garden. It makes me happy to see emerald green shoots of new plants emerging magically out of dark earth.
I’m continually awed by the diversity and intricacy of flowering plants. I’m thrilled by their ability to constantly adapt and survive in the varying situations of my garden.
I like to dig in dirt and I love the smell of damp earth. I like going to bed at night bone tired from a hard day of physical labor, but with the satisfaction that I made a noticeable difference in my garden.
I am an amateur gardener. I’ve learned what I know from relatives and my own personal experience and experimentation. I also realize the more I learn, the more I realize how little I actually know.
We’ve lived in three states and every garden I’ve had has had different soil conditions. The delphiniums, and roses that grew like weeds at one house, have never survived in our present garden.
The green peppers and impatiens that grew like shrubs in another garden have never been that crazy in any other garden either.
So I know from firsthand experience that some of the variables are so small that they may not be listed on a plant tag.
It’s a humbling experience. I’m not arrogant enough to think that when something does very well it’s because of me-it actually probably in spite of me!
What should do well in your garden may or may not. It’s up to you to explore your own territory and find out what works for you. That’s part of the mystery and the magic of gardening for me.
I could continue to list my reasons for gardening and I will in future pages, but hopefully by now I've motivated you to read on and become a gardener yourself. You won't regret it. That I can promise you.
- What's New at Gardening With Julie.
- New articles from Gardening with Julie. Information on various gardening topics such as perennials, annuals, vegetable gardens, shade gardens, and much much more.
- Julie's Journal 2013
- Julie's journal is a record of my gardening activities and the current trends in gardening, plus timely advice to help you have your best gardening year ever.
- Monthly and Random Tips
- Monthly and random tips are simple things to make your gardening experience a little more successful. The tips are both monthly and random, but all are easy and hopefully you'll want to try them.
- Starting a Garden
- Starting a garden is fun. Here are some tips to help get you started.
- Shade Garden - Shade Loving Perennials
- A shade garden that developed from what was once a sun garden. A 24 year transformation.
- Garden Style
- Garden style depends on the personality of the gardener. Use the pictures I've included to help determine your own style. There is no one way to design a garden. If it pleases you, it works!
- Garden Maintenance
- Garden maintenance is about the ongoing tasks that are needed to maintain a prosperous and healthy garden. Some tasks are seasonal. Others need doing daily and a few just once in awhile.
- Annual Flower Garden Growing Tips.
- Annual Flower Garden Tips. This is a plant that goes through its entire life cycle in a single season, going from seeds to mature plants that then flower and die at the end of the growing season.
- Understanding Perennials - How to Use Them in Your Garden
- Understanding perennials will help you to start your own perennial garden and give you some tips to help your garden flourish for the entire season.
- Adding bulbs to your garden is as simple as digging small holes in the fall. In the spring, watch flowers like tulips and daffodils emerge and wow you.
- Color Scheme Gardens
- Color scheme gardens are designed around one or two colors and are gorgeous, especially if you plant your garden in large masses of color. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Container Gardening
- Container gardening is great for small spaces, adds pops of color to your patio, deck or front steps, and is an outlet for your creative genius.
- Herb Gardens
- Herb gardens are economical, easy to have and start and useful for adding fresh flavor to all of your food. Here are some tips for starting your own herb garden.
- Green Gardening
- Green gardening is beneficial to the environment, people, and wildlife. It is a simple way to make your corner of the world a little better.
- Vegetable Gardening - Growing Delicious Food Right in Your Own Yard.
- Need vegetable gardening ideas? Growing your own vegetables is simple and very rewarding. Here are some tips to give you confidence to start your own vegetable garden.
- Houseplant Basics
- Houseplant Basics are tips to help you grow happy, healthy houseplants. Anyone can have a green thumb with a little knowledge.
- Gardening for Nature
- A garden that encourages nature into your yard depends on providing food, water and shelter and can be done even in small spaces.
- Butterfly Gardens
- Butterfly gardens are easy to create and fun for the whole family to enjoy. Here are some hints for starting and maintaining your Butterfly Garden.
- Hummingbird Gardens
- Creating hummingbird gardens is about enticing hummingbirds with enough of the right kind of plants. Here are some good choices of plants to grow and tips for gardening for hummingbirds.
- Perennial Flowering Shrubs
- Perennial flowering shrubs allow gardeners to have plants blooming all season from frost to frost with less upkeep than a flower garden requires. The bushes featured are all easy to grow and maintain.
- Interviews with Julie
- Interviews with Julie are conversations I've had with people in the gardening industry. It's a great way to learn more about gardening as both a hobby and a possible career. Enjoy them.
- Friend and Family Gardens
- My family has many gardeners in several regions of our country. Read our stories and become a confident gardener yourself. Share your garden with us , too. We'd love to hear from you.
- Photo Gallery
- The photo gallery is a collection of what is blooming in my garden. Hopefully it will help you to identify some of your favorites, too.
- Earth Day
- Earth Day is Friday, April 22 this year and I'm hoping to start a viral message to motivate as many people as possible to do something to protect or improve their little corner of the Earth.
- The Julie Journal 2012
- The Julie Journal is a blog about my gardening thoughts and ideas. You're welcome to share your thoughts too. It is a record of my 2012 garden.
- Julie Journal 2011
- The Julie Journal is a blog about my gardening thoughts and ideas. It is a record of my 2011 garden.
- Ask Julie Gardening Questions
- Ask Julie gardening questions is where you can write to me and ask about your most troublesome garden issue. I'll try my best to answer your questions so that you can create your own garden paradise.
- All about Gardening With Julie
- This article is about Gardening with Julie, the website, and all about me - Julie!
- Border gardens
- Border gardens are everywhere and come in all kinds of styles. Her are some general guidelines to make the most of your own border garden.