If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you know what I've been up to the past few months… I became a gardener. But, my blog has been mostly quiet. As I sit here staring out my office window at the snow I'm picturing summer, sunshine, and plants!! I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Winter can be beautiful, but summer and getting out in the sun are what I love. And, as I'm browsing social media I see the online stories of seed companies and other garden-related companies being sold out of just about everything. It seems that a lot of us took up gardening in the year 2020. And for good reason! I usually handle stress fairly well. I tend to focus on “the end”. I think, “this cannot be forever”, “some good will come of this”, and the like.
The first couple of months that we worked from home, I was glued to the TV watching all of the local and national news, keeping up with COVID numbers, posting about politics, reading all of the sad stories, and even watching Trump. And for those that know me… you know how I feel about that. It was very stressful. I realized after a while that it was keeping me on edge. Dealing with the stress of COVID is bad enough, worrying about whether or not our family is safe, seeing and hearing the stories of protests and lootings, and checking in on friends was bad. Seeing the unrest on the news was extremely stressful. Over time, I realized that I needed to chill out on the constant stream of stressful news. I continued to pay attention to the local news. However, I stopped watching the national press conferences. I don't necessarily read articles in-depth, and I learned to stop watching Trump. That shoots my stress level immediately to 10.
Instead, I fell into a different routine. I was lucky enough to work my 9-5 from home, only going into the office a handful of times. Over the summer, there were no classes, so there was not too much going on. And this was a good thing. Focusing on work during that time was hard as heck! There was just too much going on in the world. And it seemed like every week there was something new. This is evidenced by my barely touching my blog in months. Focus was hard to come by. I needed to find something that relaxed me and made me feel accomplished versus getting me worked up.
Being in this situation and having more time at home made me realize what is important to me, and what I enjoy doing with my time. I love being with my family. I love to cook (usually). I don't mind keeping my house tidy (sometimes), I love learning things that interest me, and I really enjoy gardening!
Up until last year, I was hesitant to start a *real* garden because I never enjoy bugs and critters! Back at my old house, I had a few herbs in containers. I put them out on my deck. I did enjoy it. However, one day I went out to harvest some basil and a hoard of Japanese beetles jumped out at me. I was DONE!! LOL! I probably let those plants die. From that point on my “garden” was in the windowsill of my house. And it was only herbs.
On Christmas of 2018, I purchased an AeroGarden. I bought it for my daughter who was in afterschool program learning all about gardening. They had some hydroponic units in their program, so I thought that she would enjoy it. Well, it sat in the box for months and she never touched it. One day, I decided to set it up myself and the rest is history! In January 2020, I added 2 more small ones. By May 2020, my AeroGarden obsession was officially underway. Good sales get me in trouble! But, I love having fresh veggies in the house all year round. Another post on that is coming up soon. Meanwhile, you can check out my latest YouTube video for more.
Meanwhile, the world blew-up. Most of us were forced to adjust our lives and stay in the house. Before I knew it, I found myself in a local nursery buying tomatoes, herbs, and peppers. And, I even assembled a raised planter that had been in my garage for almost a year.
After that… it was on!!! The addiction came quickly. I added a small greenhouse, cloned some plants, bought a few more, and started a few from seed, and took them outside.
10 plants turned into over 50. And I was loving every minute! My usual Instagram feed of tech and travel turned to photos of plants and vegetable harvests. And I'm fine with that.
So, now I am looking forward to spring and summer 2021. My “garden” all last year was in pots on my patio. We did not have a fence, and I did not want animals to eat everything. Since we now have our fence, I have big plans for raised garden beds, pretty signs, arches, the whole nine yards. My only real regret is that I did not start gardening a long time ago.