- Author: Cheryl A Potts
Often a shopper will linger near the Master Gardener's table at the Vacaville Farmer's Market, eyeing our free materials and checking out our informational posters. Sensing the "lingerer" is wishing to ask a question or engage in conversation with a Master Gardener, but seemingly reluctant or shy, I take the plunge and ask an opening question. "Do you have a garden"? Often the answer is "no, I don't have room", "we don't eat vegetables", "I don't have time", or, "our soil is too clay".
Last Saturday morning, the other Master Gardeners and myself became aware that when asked if one gardens, one often assumes that we mean vegetable gardening. However, if you are one of those who claims to not be a gardener, you need to know that the boundaries of gardening are limitless.
If you have shrubbery and a lawn, you have a garden. If you have a porch with a potted geranium, you have my permission to call yourself a gardener. If you have just one houseplant that needs nurturing, you garden.
Do not sell yourself short. Know that you do garden if you have one tomato plant growing in a pot on your patio, keep your lawn green, or have an African violet blooming on a shelf. Talk affirmatively about your terrarium on your coffee table, your three herbs growing in your kitchen, or that fern that flourishes in your bathroom.
You do not need a large plot, a compost pile, a complicated irrigation system, or a rototiller. You do not need to know the difference between a perennial and an annual. You simply need to be growing something--flowers, grass, a bell pepper plant, rosemary, ivy or a honeysuckle vine.
Caring for one miniature rose in a sunny window, seeing it grow and blossom, can be as rewarding as giving away bags of extra veggies to friends and neighbors.
So if you are one of those who, when asked, has denied having a garden, rethink this and realize that most likely, somewhere in your personal environment is something growing. Therefore, you can say, "Yes! I have a garden."