By Sarah Irani
I was just going to write about growing your own food when I logged onto ELC and found that someone had already beaten me to it! This topic can extend beyond growing your own food to selecting plants and flowers from local nurseries. There is a great nursery here in town, Dutch Plant Farm, where we get all of our gardening materials and plants. I get positively giddy in there with all the rows and rows of fabulous little seedlings and hanging baskets. Last night I was selecting which flowers were going to go into my corner garden when I started noticing "Grown in Maryland" and "Maryland Pride" stickers on certain plants. So, of course I selected those for my garden! I will confess that I planted some petunias and delphinium that were not local, but since the ELC has become a part of my life, I find myself asking questions, "Where was this grown?"
Some of our friends gave us three antique roses as a wedding gift and they just arrived yesterday! The roses are shipped in from Texas, but they are antiques so we feel good about preserving old varieties of plants. People tell me how difficult roses are to maintain. I look around our yard at the many out-of-control, bursting with color roses and wonder what in the world they are talking about. We water them occasionally. We never apply fertilizer. They just grow and grow and grow. As it turns out these heirloom and antique varieties are so much more hardy and smell so much more divine than the hybrids.
I am shocked at my own recent gardening obsessions and have alarmed many of my friends. Growing up with a mother who is an avid gardener there must be something in the genes, but I hated it when I was a child. "I'll never have a garden!" I'd tell her after hard work weeding on a hot, sunny day. Then all the sudden, I get married, get a house and just look at me: on my hands and knees and up to my wrists in sumptuous, delicous soil! Just the other day I spent way too much money on a pair of shoes. I exchanged them for a pair half the price and spent the other half of the refund on flowers and mulch. What is happening to me?