Busy in the Garden


Photo taken about a month ago… early spring, fresh leaf mulch

Growing up in Oakwood, Ohio, a quaint little neighborhood just south of The University of Dayton (where I would later fall in love with my wonderful Andrew) was a little like growing up in a story book. People took care of their homes and gardens and as children, we had free reign of the entire community, which in my neck of the woods included an elementary school and a library literally across the street from my house; a swimming pool and playground a few blocks away, a really great gourmet grocery store within biking (or roller skating) distance, and loads and loads of friends close by. My parents sacrificed a lot for us to live there and attend the incredible public schools. After all, my father was a professor of photography and fine art… not a millionaire. But I’m so grateful to them for that childhood.

It was such a wonderful place to grow up that I think I took it for granted. Or just falsely assumed that there were a lot of places like it. Maybe there are. But I have lived many places over the past 10 years, and can still honestly say that my childhood city was one of the very best.

Something about that place has stuck with me. Lots of things, really. But the amazing gardens are a big part of me now. Somehow, I find myself plunged up to my elbows in dirt on a pretty regular basis most months out of the year. It is a lot of work. Work that I love. The mulching two or three times a year. The weeding, and planting, and leaf-removal. It all culminates in such a sense of satisfaction to me. It’s really good old-fashioned manual labor that I love. And if I had my way, I could spend hours of every day tending to flower beds and vegetable gardens. I assume I will once all three boys are in school…DSC_0002DSC_0007DSC_0001

… but there’s no rush on that. Now if I can only get a certain neighbor’s cat to stop crapping it in, we’ll be set!

6 thoughts on “Busy in the Garden”
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  1. I know just how you feel… No place will ever be quite as lovely as the dream location where I grew up either. Grateful for the wonderful childhood but it sure does put a damper on appreciating any other place I’ve lived!

    Your garden is beautiful. Such a charming front porch too- well worth all that work.

  2. Your experience growing up sounds so magical. I grew up in very rural Florida, with not many playmates around, and I always wanted to live in the kind of neighborhood you described.

    What a great garden you have! There’s something so calming about getting in the dirt and taking care of plants.

  3. Your gardens are so beautiful, Lauren. Yes, Oakwood was a very cool place to live. We wish that we could have traveled out there more often.

  4. It looks beautiful, Lauren! I know what you mean – there’s just so much joy that comes from good old-fashioned manual labor. Since I was really young, I always enjoyed laboring outdoors whether it was having a garden, cutting the grass, etc and I really miss it not being a part of my life for many years now. I look forward to the day that I’m back in the dirt on a regular basis!

  5. I was out digging & turning soil today & I’d have to agree with you- that a good sense of accomplishment comes from this kind of labor! I bought a house not far from Aberdeen. Thanks for the reminder of what I too, should appreciate! Happy planting… you’ve been blessed with a green thumb!

  6. Your gardens are beautiful! You and Neel should talk. That part of Ohio is so beautiful…Neel and I met in college in Richmond, IN, so I know Dayton well. And my dad, while not a professor is a sculptor and painter. Small world, still, yes?

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