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My Partner and Inspiration in Gardening, My Husband

My husband, Bill, has been my inspiration and guide through the gardening journey since we married in 2002. All I know about any type of gardening has been through his patience and strength and wisdom and experience that he has gained throughout his lifetime.

We both grew up in Richmond, and my mother was NOT a gardener, but Bill’s maternal grandparents owned a farm in Prince Edward County so his summers were spent helping his family with plowing land, tobacco and vegetable gardening, and chickens. From his early twenties, he grew his own vegetables and flowers and was a coach and athletic director at the same time.

Since our marriage, we have planted gardens together, me the rototilling, he the planting, the weeding and harvesting together, and he does all of the canning. Even in 2004, six weeks after Bill suffered a major stroke, we planted potatoes together at Woodberry Forest School, where we were living.

In that same year, we bought 7 acres of land on the water in Northumberland County, built our home in 2005 and started our first garden in 2006. We maintain an herb garden, a 50’ x 50’ vegetable garden, two potato fields and a root vegetable garden, all in our Northern Neck soil! I started a 50’ x 75’ ―all white‖ garden over our drain fields, just to improve a VERY ugly area, and we also maintain our 20’ x 100’ peony and iris garden.

Our gardens produce everything from winter and summer squash, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes to eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, beans, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

Needless to say, we are lucky to have chosen to plant mostly perennials. We don’t have to do all of this work, but my partner has taught me so much about working hard and being responsible to the land we love. And he is my hero.

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