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I've Loved Gardening Since I was Little Girl

I have loved gardening since I was little girl. I looked forward to Sundays after church, heading to my grandparent’s farm in King and Queen County. I knew when we got there, we would have fresh butterbeans with homemade biscuits that were to die for. I would soak my biscuits in my butterbeans prepared with homemade butter and fresh milk. I rarely ate vegetables from a can growing up and when I did, it really made me appreciate home grown vegetables.

After lunch, we picked vegetables, fetched eggs, prepared vegetables for meals to come and, after helping my grandmother in the garden, I would get to ride the tractors around the fields and play with the animals. I spent lots of the summer months with my grandparents helping with the farm chores. When my grandfather died, my father’s sister (who was a model in New York) moved back during the summer to help with the gardening. My mother never liked gardening of any kind, so I would have to say I took after my father’s side. My mother did enjoy me planting flowers in her yard and the fresh vegetables I raised, when I moved away from home.

After business school, I moved in with a girlfriend who lived on a Hanover County farm comprising over 1,000 acres in Hanover County. On the farm, there were horses, chickens, cats and dogs, and we raised all our vegetables that carried us through the winter. This was the life for me. I loved to watch things grow. I lived there several years and then moved closer into town because the drive was killing me every day.

I moved 13 times in three years and then into an apartment and could only have indoor plants. It looked like a jungle at my patio door and was not the same as living in the country and having a garden. So I decided to buy my own house in Richmond (where I grew up) when I was 24 years old. I planted a garden the first year and thereafter. For my birthday that year, my father bought me a Briggs and Stratton roto-tiller. It was a three horsepower tiller that I could handle except when I caught it in my fencing. That was the best roto-tiller and the best gift anyone could have given me. My yard was full of flowers and lots of vegetables. I enjoyed sharing my vegetables with my neighbors and friends. I would can enough for winter and make homemade jams to share. Friends were always giving me fruits for my jams since I did not have any fruit trees at that time. Then, in later years, my flower and vegetable beds became too large for a three-horse power tiller. I needed something much larger, good man power to do what I had gotten involved in.

People will ask me how I do it. I guess when you enjoy something so much, and it is fun, rewarding and therapeutic, there is nothing else I can say except I love it.

When I moved to Grey’s Point I would get the best camp site of the month every year; several times I receive it twice a season. It was a little embarrassing after awhile. This encouraged other campers to make their sites spectacular also and made Grey’s Point a great place to be. There were several ladies who would always share some of their plants from their gardens. If I wasn’t there, they would leave me sweet little notes and I would certainly plant them for the next time they were down. And now here I am in White Stone doing what I love to do — planting lots of flowers and vegetables, watching everything grow, some things disappearing (because of those four legged animals, that seem to enjoy it as much as I do), living on the water in a private setting and, of course, weeding, weeding, weeding.

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