P. Allen Smith Hosts Garden2Blog Event … And More

by Seasonal Wisdom on April 6, 2011

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When it comes to gardening and gracious living, P. Allen Smith is well-known nationally for his exquisite taste and knowledge. After all, The New York Times called this award-winning landscape designer, book author and TV personality, ”The Martha Stewart of the South.” That’s why I was incredibly honored (and surprised) to be invited to his Garden Retreat this month with 20 other bloggers. And I’m celebrating by giving away P. Allen Smith prizes in today’s Spring Fling Garden Giveaway.

This story started a couple months ago, when I was invited to attend the first Garden2Blog event with bloggers from around the nation. This invitation-only (and expenses-paid) event will be hosted by P. Allen Smith at his picturesque Garden Retreat in late April.  Well, needless to say, I was so surprised by his kind invitation, I had to read the letter again … several times.

I could certainly relate to what my friend Laura Mathews of Punk Rock Gardens wrote about her invitation. After all, we’re just ordinary folks, who happen to be passionate about writing, studying and talking about gardening.

P. Allen Smith, on the other hand, is a bit of a legend in the gardening world, between appearing on NBC’s Today Show, hosting PBS national TV shows, and appearing on The Weather Channel. Not to mention, all his books.

'Knock Out' roses on P. Allen Smith's property.

But the more I learned about P. Allen Smith, the more I saw we shared many of the same interests. For example, he first started going on radio and TV programs, because he was concerned that “many people had lost their connection to their families’ agrarian past,” and he wanted “to help introduce them to the joys of gardening.” In his new book Seasonal Recipes From The Garden, he even shares recipes and vintage photos of his great uncles and aunts in their humble farmyards and rustic kitchens of Tennessee and Arkansas.

Well, it’s no secret that I share his love of the old ways, local foods and seasonal living. And those reasons are exactly why I started this Seasonal Wisdom blog a while back: I wanted to help people better appreciate the gardening and food traditions of the past, and I wanted to reconnect folks back to nature’s seasons. So, I hoping to pry more family recipe secrets and old Southern traditions out of P. Allen Smith, as well.

P. Allen Smith’s one-acre vegetable garden.

Now for this Garden2Blog event, P. Allen Smith is bringing all different types of bloggers together to “not just talk about trends and ideas, but also establish an ongoing dialogue of information-sharing within our industry.”

As he explains, “It’s such a creative and knowledgeable group coming to visit. I can’t wait to see what shakes out of our time together.”  Well, that’s make two of us.  I know many of these bloggers, and it should be interesting to participate in these discussions. So, look for more news on this event at a later time. Meanwhile, let’s talk prizes.
Win P. Allen Smith Products Today! One lucky reader will win the following prizes:

  • One P. Allen Smith Garden How-To Card Set for Roses, filled with gorgeous photos and expert advice on growing roses. DVD included. Suggested retail price: $14.95.

  • One P. Allen Smith Garden How-To Cards  for Veggies & Herbs, packed with photos, delicious recipes and expert gardening advice. DVD included. Suggested retail price: $14.95.

  • One pack of natural Authentic Haven Brand soil-conditioning teas.  Use the alfalfa teas to get your roses off to a good start. The horse and cow manure teas are from grass-fed livestock at the Haven family ranch in Southern California, and can be used throughout your garden to build strong root systems and healthy plants. Suggested retail price: $12.99.

To Enter This Giveaway: Simply leave a comment below and tell me who/what inspired you to first garden. Was it a favorite book? A family member? Or, something else? That’s all you have to do to enter this random drawing. But hurry! This giveaway ends tonight, April 6, 2011, at midnight, PT. Please note: this giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. Don’t forget to leave a way for me to contact you, in the event you win. Good luck!

Coming Next: The Spring Fling Garden Giveaway continues. Check back here tomorrow to win a $50 gift certficate from Annie’s Annuals.  Don’t miss it!

Latest update: This P. Allen Smith contest is now over. Thanks for visiting.

{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

vanessa kiernan April 6, 2011 at 7:40 am

well when i was little. my grandma had a very large veggie garden. n thats when i knew i wanted to have one also. my mom was into horticulture and passed away before we moved into our first home . so my challange is to max out my harvest of veggie n flowers in a standard city home space.

i love my roses n hope my hydrangea comes back this year. slowly our veggie garden grows. n flowers are added every year. the front yard is a lil challenge of mine thu. for productivity and beauty.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 8:13 am

Thanks, Vanessa. Sounds like you come from a long line of gardeners. Good luck in the giveaway!

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Gisele April 6, 2011 at 7:53 am

Both sets of Grandparents were Farmers….I learned alot from them.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 8:14 am

Good for you, Gisele. I bet you did learn a lot from those grandparents. Thanks for stopping by and entering. Good luck!

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Penny April 6, 2011 at 7:53 am

I love gardening and was inspired by my Dad. He would grow tomatoes in our front garden every Spring. Plus he grew all kinds of flowers there too. I miss him!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 8:15 am

Penny, it’s wonderful that your dad inspired you to garden. My dad enjoyed puttering around outdoors too, and I’m sure I inherited his green thumb. Thanks for entering today!

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Jules April 6, 2011 at 8:04 am

My maternal grandparents were farmers plus grandma always had berries, fruit trees and several gardens. I can remember being very young and learning how to pick strawberries and also scrambling up the ladder to help pick cherries. I think I got hooked because of being exposed to gardening so young. I too am trying to influence my granchildren to enjoy gardening and all the wonders it possesses.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 8:16 am

Jules, those are great memories. It’s great to expose young children to gardening. Good luck!

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Steve April 6, 2011 at 8:05 am

My Mom and Dad both loved the garden; vegetables and flowers. In our elementary school, we had a flower show every spring and for my earliest income, I sold high quality seeds to neighbors. I figured working on my own flowers and trying the seeds I sold just went along with the territory — and I really enjoyed the territory :)

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 8:20 am

Steve, You sound like a good businessman even as an elementary school student. LOL. Glad you had such good gardening role models. Thanks for entering the giveaway.

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Teresa April 6, 2011 at 8:07 am

When I was little, my Mom would take me to our local nursery. While she shopped for plants, I played under and around the plant tables, which seemed to go on forever. I still remember the smells… so natural, fresh, and warm. I was encouraged to plant radishes and onions and flowers in our backyard, and it stayed with me. I’ve lived all over the country, but now I live within 50 miles of that nursery, now being run by the next generation, and I still love to go there. I shop there as often as I can, and I still get a wonderful feeling when I go in their greenhouses.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 10:19 am

Love this story, Teresa. Thanks for sharing. And good luck in the giveaway!

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Traci Bismonte April 6, 2011 at 8:17 am

I have been inspired to garden since I was a small child. We lived in a co-op and so, no yard to plant things. But, my parents used planters and window ledges, our balcony and any other open spaces they could find to create our “city farm”. We always had fresh herbs, home grown tomatoes and beautiful flowers for our home. Now that I have a yard, my children and I plant as much as possible and keep our herb garden right here in our kitchen. That was actually a tip from Mr. P Allen Smith, himself. Thank you for the opportunity to win some of his amazing things!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 8:19 am

Traci: You were a trendsetter with your “city farm.” Glad that wisdom has stayed with you all this time. Good luck!

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Holly Ward April 6, 2011 at 8:20 am

My parents moved from the City to the Country when I was 8 to start an Organic way of life for us to grow healthier before it was the “rage”. Our garden was the center of activity in our home. We learned at an early age the importance of self sustaining living. My gardening wisdom that I inherited has been passed to my children and we are now involved in a local Community Garden!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

Holly, you lucky girl! How wonderful that you got to experience an organic lifestyle as a young girl, and it’s great that you’re involved in a community garden now. Good luck in the giveaway!

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Joyce Brandon April 6, 2011 at 8:21 am

We started gardening when we bought our home in the country. I’d grown some tomatoes & sweet corn before we left life in the “big city” (pop. 375 at the time), but out here we had room to really get into the dirt and try all kinds of vegetables.

At about the same time I read a book called The Long Emergency by Jim Kunstler and it really got me thinking about how much we relied on the “just in time” delivery system of big box stores and last minute trips into town. I really wanted to be more self reliant. I wanted to LEARN some of the things that my Grandparents must have taken as just a part of life, but that we’d journeyed so far from.

So for the last 6 years we’ve been doing just that… Planting our gardens, raising our chickens & goats, slowly creating a small orchard. We are learning all these things for the most part on our own. Researching with books & websites, experiencing those hard first hand lessons of trial and error & discovering some wonderful patient mentors along the way.

Now here we are at Brown Fox Farm!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 8:29 am

Joyce: It sounds like you’re building a great, self-reliant life for yourself. Good luck with your Brown Fox Farm … and the giveaway.

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Victoria April 6, 2011 at 8:57 am

Hey Teresa,
It’s hard to keep up with all your great giveaways! :-)
I was inspired to start gardening when Kim and I decided to enlarge our koi pond and we needed to decide on a new size and shape that would complement the back yard. I began to see the creative gardening possibilities and went from there.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 9:04 am

Victoria: I love the way you make it look so easy. Your garden is fabulous, and I can’t believe you did everything yourselves. Whatever inspired you has definitely paid off! Good luck in the giveaway.

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Marlene April 6, 2011 at 9:07 am

My great-grandmother was a wonderful gardner who grew vegetables and flowers in her garden, I love digging in the dirt and the rewards of eating healthy foods.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 10:17 am

Marlene, you have deep roots in gardening, that’s for sure. Keep enjoying your gardening heritage and healthy foods. Good luck!

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Mimi San Pedro April 6, 2011 at 9:33 am

Teresa,
Great blog post. Can’t wait to meet you in a few weeks! Keep up the exciting work you’re doing!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 10:16 am

Thanks, Mimi. I’m excited about the trip. Doesn’t everyone have interesting stories to tell about their gardening inspirations? Love it!

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Deanna Tworivers April 6, 2011 at 10:12 am

My maternal Grandmother and my father always had a garden. I learned from them and carry the tradition forward.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 10:15 am

Deanna, I love the fact that you keep carrying on the gardening tradition. You go girl! Good luck in the giveaway.

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Debbi (Vagablonde515) Hempe April 6, 2011 at 10:24 am

Last Year we decided that since Valentines Day is about our hearts, we would build beds and plant each other a garden that would care for and nurture our bodies and souls. I could think of no better gift. John built the beds and we prepared them for crops. He’d grown up in Ohio and his family had gardened every year so he was very familiar with what would follow. I grew up in Manhattan and did not know the first thing about what I was in store for. I did remember that my first year with John we planted a tomato and a squash plant and the feeling of bringing something into the kitchen that I had grown was so rewarding. I took photos as if we’d had a baby.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 10:42 am

Debbi, I feel the same way about the veggies from my garden too. After all, we did raise them ourselves. Good luck with your garden and with the giveaway.

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Kim April 6, 2011 at 10:30 am

My first garden was when I was in kindergarden. I remember growing radish sprouts in a wet paper towel in a glass as an “experiment” and wanting to actually grow the plants. My mom helped me dig up a patch in the backyard to plant some seeds and sure enough – radishes grew! The rest as they say, is history…..

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 10:41 am

Hi Kim: Once you get that gardening bug, it’s hard to quit. Thanks for entering the giveaway.

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Diana Goings April 6, 2011 at 10:54 am

My earliest memory of gardening was in my grandmothers garden. I remember her telling me her favorite flower was the pansy, because they have such happy faces! After that I asked my parents for pansies and in the crevises of a rock retaining wall, I planted a whole pansy garden one summer.
Those P. Allen Smith books look like they could be briming with inspiration. I’m really hoping this is my lucky day, as I just ordered 6 new roses from J&P and Heirloom Roses, and lots of veggie seeds. Those are my two special garden area’s of interest this year! I have been patiently starting and transplanting my little vegetable seedlings and hoping for a Great Garden Season !

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

Diana, that’s a very sweet story. No wonder you love pansies! Good luck in this giveaway … and with your new roses and veggies.

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Katika April 6, 2011 at 10:57 am

When I was a kid we had a small garden in the back yard. I always liked the fresh tomatoes and peppers we grew. Now I garden because it’s the best way to get a good tomato.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 11:01 am

Katika, You are right! The best tomatoes do come from the backyard. Thanks for sharing, and good luck!

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Jennie Brooks April 6, 2011 at 11:03 am

well how very exciting for everyone involved and invited to the Garden2Blog event. i can’t wait to hear what shakes out too. i’m so envious of people who do this sort of thing for a living and so appreciative for the knowledge too. looks like a spectacular prize pack. i just planted my first rose bush this spring! sure hope i don’t kill it. can’t wait to see who wins. good luck, everyone!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 11:25 am

Thanks, Jenny. It should be a wonderful event, and a great way to share ideas from all over the country about gardening. Good luck with your first roses! Don’t forget to mulch well and allow plenty of air circulation around the plant. It’s also a good idea to water deeply at the roots and avoid wetting the foliage. All the best.

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SaraU April 6, 2011 at 11:35 am

My dad was my first inspiration in gardening – from a young age, too. We would pour over the seed catalogs and plan out the garden, tend the soil, plant the seeds, and reap the harvest! There’s a favorite family photo of he and I standing in the garden with me gesturing at the beauty of it all!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 11:41 am

Sara: That’s a memory to cherish forever. What a great photo to have too. Thanks for sharing. Good luck in this random drawing!

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Daisy April 6, 2011 at 11:53 am

What got me started? That’s a hard question to answer. I think it was the idea the first tomatoes – that’s why tomatoes are called the gateway drug to gardening! Now I grow several types of tomatoes, among other goodies, and can or freeze whatever we don’t eat.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 11:57 am

Daisy: I like the idea that a good tasting tomato was your inspiration for gardening. That’s understandable. Good luck in the giveaway.

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Suzanne April 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I think I always loved flowers, but the biggest inspiration may have been my Grandmother’s garden. We seldom made the long drive across country to visit, but I remember once when I was very young, being amazed at her garden full of vegetables and flowers, including snapdragons, which were so fun. I wanted to smell and touch everything.
Later, a family friend gave me my first orchid and I was hooked on those, too.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Suzanne: I can just picture you seeing that garden as a young girl. Those memories last a lifetime. Thanks for entering this random drawing and good luck!

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constance blizzard April 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I finally got old enough to feel guilty raiding my mother’s garden for fresh veggies. She lives a thousand miles away but I visit her twice a year, and come back with bags full of fresh produce and jars full of sauce.

It wasn’t even my conscience that got the best of me– that’s just a lot of carry, and the TSA looks at you funny with a suitcase full of cucumbers. Although I will say, when she came to visit -me- last year and helped herself to dried herbs and a freshly-picked meal, I was redeemed!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Constance: That’s hilarious, and God bless all the mothers … especially those who garden. LOL. Glad you were able to repay the favor by sharing herbs and fresh foods from your own garden. Good luck today!

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Mary April 6, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Although I was a total Earth-loving tree-hugging too-late-for-the-hippie-era child, I was never interested in flowers or where my produce came from.

About a decade ago I got into floristry for the potential of making money and subsequently ended up working at the local plant nursery in the cut flower market. As it turned out I loved live plants much more than cut flowers. After years of online forum browsing and research I’ve become a gardening gal who can’t live without soil and seeds!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 12:24 pm

From selling cut flowers to growing living flowers, it makes total sense. Thanks for sharing Mary, and good luck in this drawing. Don’t forget we’re giving away prizes every day this week.

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meemsnyc April 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm

My dad inspired me to garden. He’s quite the avid gardener, and is enthusiastic that I followed in his footsteps. http://nycgardening.blogspot.com/2010/08/apple-does-not-fall-far-from-tree.html

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Mimi: Your dad sounds like he was quite a gardener. No wonder he was so inspiring. Thanks for sharing, and good luck!

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Jill Reeves April 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm

We moved around a lot as a child because my dad was an Army officer, but he always had a garden. In North Carolina it was roses. In Kentucky it was vegetables. In Germany it was a rented plot outside of Frankfurt. I was made to help pull weeds and pick vegetables, and I remember vowing — as the okra prickles were giving me a rash — that I would NEVER have my own garden.
However, it’s the memory of tending these roses and growing these vegetables that made me want to share it with my own children. When I bought my house, there wasn’t a single flower bed on the property — now there is a perennial border surrounding the large yard. We maintain a “community” garden at my office, and my children help weed and pick, just like I did as a child.
When my 8 year old son decided last year to dig a water feature in our yard and surround it with flowers, I knew I had made the right choice.
Gardening is a legacy, whether you like it or not.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Love your story, Jill. I say “embrace your gardening legacy,” and it sounds like you are doing just that. ! ;) Thanks for entering the giveaway, and good luck!

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Anna Webb April 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Ah, this is an easy one. I grew up around gardeners, of course, so got my fill early on of zucchinis, tomatoes, et al. But what really captured me was less formalized “foraging” around the yard. No need for breakfast inside. I would just venture out in the mornings, and eat plums, green apples, and a slew of raspberries, fresh off the cane. No way to be a non plant person after that.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Anna: Lucky you to grow up around gardeners and fresh produce from the backyard. No wonder you were inspired! Thanks for entering and good luck!

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annie zaki April 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm

My grandfather first inspired me as a child to garden. I spent a lot of time in his vegetable garden. He was an avid organic Gardner outings to get horse manure were a common occurrence and without even knowing it a lot of what I saw done as a small child is coming back to me as I grow my own garden. I miss him everyday but feel like he is always with me when I am out working in the garden.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Hi Annie: You’re a lucky woman to have such an inspiring grandfather. Thanks for sharing your story, and for entering this random drawing. Good luck!

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Nancy April 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm

My mother was a landscape architect and always had a garden of flowers mixed with vegetables, berries, and fruit trees. My father was an attorney who accepted a variety of options for payment of his legal advice. One client always paid his legal fees with baskets of amazing fruit which my mother canned with my reluctant help and that of my siblings. Another client paid with a baby goat which gave us a lot more fun than canning fruit, but presented added gardening problems and benefits. My siblings and I all cultivate vegetable, fruits and flowers today; but none of us has a goat.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Nancy, what a great childhood! Veggies, fruit, flowers … and a goat too? Definitely inspiring. Thanks for sharing and good luck!

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Jo Parker April 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm

When I was a small child my Mom turned the earth in a small area in our yard into a little garden plot and showed my sister and I (age 3 and 4 then) how to plant our own gardens! Later, when my parents were divorced we started to spend the summers at my auntie’s in the countryside. Due to necessity my mother and aunt grew nearly everything we ate! They had animals as well! I must tell you, the best tomatoes are those that sprung up in the pig pen! Digestion first must have had a magic effect on them! Later, when I was 8 -10 years old my sibs and I grew tomatoes and peppers and sold them door to door! They were not the pig tomatoes, we hung on to those for ourselves! We had a lot of customers year after year!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Jo, Thanks for sharing this lovely story about your childhood and gardening. Love the idea of you selling veggies door to door. Good luck!

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Debbie April 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm

My grandmother got me started in the garden. We plant all veggies and flowers. I have my two grandchildren helping to plant and pick and they so love it at 7 and 10!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Debbie, Isn’t it great how gardening brings generations together? Thanks for keeping the tradition going in your family. Good luck with the giveaway.

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Brenda L. Thompson April 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Last year I was inspired to grow a small boxed garden. In my garden, I wanted to recreate the flavors of a few vegetables that my mom used to grow in her two acre, Eastern Idaho garden when I was a kid.

I knew that there was not any store bought tomato or bell pepper that could emulate the taste or freshness that I experienced from my mom’s garden.

Experiencing the wonderful flavors of my own garden was like reminiscing and catching up with an old friend who I have not spoken with for years.

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Brenda, You were so fortunate to experience local homegrown foods as a young child, and I’m sure this memory will stay with you forever. Good luck in this random drawing, and thanks for sharing your story.

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Lauren Dierolf April 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm

I love gardening and was totally inspired by my Dad. He grew tomatoes in our backyard every Summer. Plus my Mom grew roses in the front of the house with much pride. I miss them both! I also remember going to my grandmothers very Sunday, who had a huge, football size field full of flowers and vegetables. Well, as a little kid, it sure looked that huge to me. Great memories of gardening through the generations!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Lauren: Thanks for sharing your story. All day today, we’ve been hearing from folks talking about how their grandparents and parents inspired them to garden, and how they continue to pass along that knowledge to the younger generation today. It’s definitely inspiring. Good luck in the giveaway, and don’t forget we’ve got prizes every day this week.

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Victoria Bishop April 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I think it was reaching that higher connection to the food I was eating. Of course, I had always loved to play in the dirt!!!

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Teresa O'Connor April 6, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Victoria, I agree with you. I love that gardening connects us with the foods we eat. Thanks and good luck!

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jonquil April 6, 2011 at 8:08 pm

two ‘things’ inspired my gardening: first, my gran’ma thelma. she had 42 older rose bushes & so many bearded iris that you could pick up thier scent before you even got in the garden. also, she grew huge amounts of comfrey ‘to help with bruises & bones’.
second, my growing unease with an inefficient urban food supply system, the growing chaos withing the planet & our sociopolitical systems, & the blank refusal for gov’t. officials to protect citizens from these effects.

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Teresa O'Connor April 7, 2011 at 6:13 am

Jonquil: Your grandma Thelma sounds like she had a wonderful garden with all those roses and comfrey too. I do understand your frustration with the food system, and I think that’s why so many young people are turning to gardening edibles today. Thanks for sharing! Good luck!

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Sarah H. April 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I grew up in a tiny attached townhouse, in a subsidized complex and our only place to grow was a little square of dirt in the backyard. Every spring my mom would plant strawberries and my little brother and I would check them 5 times a day so when a berry would finally ripen up, we could eat it before the neighborhood bunnies did! My son is about to turn 1 and I can’t wait to teach him to plant strawberries and dig in the dirt! :)

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Teresa O'Connor April 7, 2011 at 6:12 am

Sarah, Isn’t it great that we can have gardens, even in the tinest spaces? Thanks for sharing your tale, and good luck!

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Kari April 6, 2011 at 8:58 pm

My mother was definately my inspiration for all outdoor activities including gardening. We were just reminising the other day about how she double turned her garden a 3 ft sq block a day and how she raised potatoes in leaves and they were huge!

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Teresa O'Connor April 7, 2011 at 6:11 am

Kari, Thank goodness for moms and all the others who taught us to garden. Meanwhile, those sound like great potatoes. Thanks for sharing your story. Good luck in the giveaway.

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Teresa April 6, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I am very excited for you guys. It sounds like an awesome event to be a part of. I was inspired to garden by my Mother in law. she had such a passion for her gardens it was hard not to catch the gardening bug when I was around her. She taught me most of what I know. Even now that she has moved on to greener gardens, the house she grew up in and lived her whole life still has bulbs pushing through the grass every spring that she planted and tended to. It’s awful hard to pass by her house knowing how bad she would feel knowing they are uncared for now. Being out in my yard always brings back wonderful memories of days gone by that were spent in the garden with her.

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Teresa O'Connor April 7, 2011 at 6:09 am

Teresa, Thanks for sharing. We’ve heard so many stories today of family members and others who have gotten us all gardening. I’m sure her house still holds many memories for you. Good luck in this random drawing!

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Bonnie Namba April 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I didn’t realize until I sat down to write this out just how many wonderful gardeners I’ve had in my life. Too many to tell you about – unless you’re looking for a small book on the subject!

There are two that stand out, my grandmother and my sister. Though they’ve both maintained beautiful yards and grown all the standard veggies their standout crops in my mind have been their strawberries and raspberries, respectfully.

Thanks to their tutelage I’ve not only learned to grow both fruits, but I haven’t bought a jar of jam from the store in I don’t know how long. I don’t believe either of my children know what store bought jam tastes like. Our homegrown jam is such a critical part of our family pantry, that last year when I was undergoing chemo, my kids & husband made sure the berries got harvested and he jam got made – enough jam to last until this year’s harvest and my better health!

I just adore that something we grow in our own yard and make in our kitchen is such an intrinsic part of our family lore.

Thank you for this opportunity to reflect and read all the other wonderful stories. Have fun with P. Allen – can’t wait to hear all about it! ~Bonnie

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Teresa O'Connor April 7, 2011 at 6:08 am

Bonnie, Isn’t it amazing how many gardening influences we have in our lives? I loved the idea of your husband and kids making sure you had homemade jam last year. What a great family tradition. Thanks for sharing!

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Joanie Crear April 7, 2011 at 6:16 pm

My Mom had a garden for as long as I can remember. I loved to dig in the dirt and plant flowers. It has always amazed me that you can plant a tiny little seed in the ground and grow beautiful flowers and delicious veggies!

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Teresa O'Connor April 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Joanie. This giveaway is closed, but we appreciate you sharing your story.

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Bonnie Neilson Atkins April 7, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I have to say, my Oakland, California born and bred, father, the late, William R. Neilson, always seemed to have some sort of vegetable patch growing. We, family of seven kids, always learned of a new veggie to eat, from his patch. We had swiss chard, spinach, artichokes, brussel sprouts, corn, tomatoes and so many other “trials” of fruits and vegetables. We had a lovely crab apple tree, loquat and plum trees too, and my dad would try his hand at baking different treats for us. I’m sure we all retain some fond memories, of growing up under his enthusiastic, no pressure, tutelage. I always have some sort of curious plants tucked in my garden, and containers to try my hand at :) Thank you Dad!

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Teresa O'Connor April 8, 2011 at 6:35 am

Bonnie: Wow, you were a lucky girl to have such a wonderful gardener and baker for a father. I’m sure those memories will last forever. Thanks for sharing your inspirations. We’re sorry this giveaway has ended, but your comments were appreciated. Enter to win (April 8) Friday’s giveaway of a raised garden bed. Good luck!

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Susan McCoy March 23, 2014 at 10:32 am

Just love his show!

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