When I was a child my mom had a small garden in the front of our house. I didn’t pay it much attention until she took me to a nursery and told me I could pick out any plant I wanted. I browsed the rows: the striking bird of paradise, fragrant pentas, and muhly grass with its cloud of pink flowers. What drew me in for closer inspection were the petunias. I spotted a pink and white petaled variety. Striped flowers! There was no other choice.
When we got home I followed my mom’s directions to gently take the seedlings out of the plastic pots. I dug my fingers into the roots and pulled them apart worrying that I might be killing the plant. My mom assured me that by pulling out the tiny roots I would be helping the petunias to take root in their new environment.
I watered my petunias and watched them grow feeling so proud that I’d played a role in growing something so pretty.
My mom was patient with me in teaching me the foundations of growing plants. That was the beginning of my lifelong enthusiasm for gardening and I am grateful.
These days I have three children whom I take with me on trips to the nursery. My younger daughter always asks if she can break apart the roots before we plant. That’s her favorite task. I’m so pleased that they show an interest in gardening with me.
To this day, whenever I pass the petunias I think about my first experience working in the garden. I can never resist taking some home with me!
Vanessa Tsumura lives in Wisconsin with her family. She blogs about crafts and DIY projects at Bluet & Clover.
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