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Come for the Knowledge….Stay for the Friendship
Even though I was raised in one of the most densely populated cities in the country, I have always loved flowers, nature, and being out-of-doors.
I remember my grandmother’s victory garden. I remember tulips, daffodils, and forsythia announcing the arrival of spring. And I remember my four-year-old attempt at growing vegetables on a teensy plot of land near the cellar door where a meager display of carrots and parsley grew, despite my lack of having the slightest idea what I was doing.
After leaving New York, I moved bag and baggage to the Sacramento Valley where I witnessed my first 108 degree day. The next day I read in the paper that if you brought your own containers, you could pick boysenberries for 10 cents per pound. What were boysenberries? I collected containers and showed up at a boysenberry patch ready to pick. Not knowing that boysenberries had thorns, I wore a halter top and short shorts. Again, I didn’t have the slightest idea what I had gotten myself into.
For the next forty-five years I tried hundreds of plants and flowers, created what I thought were visually appealing garden areas, and dug in clay soil. Some plants did well; many did not. I bought garden books, planted more plants, and visited endless garden centers. Then one day I finally retired, after which I decided to join a garden club. Maybe I would actually learn something.
The result has been an incredibly steep learning curve. I had no idea how much there is to learn about gardening, and there is no end to the amount of knowledge I have gained. But I have gained something more important – the friendship and camaraderie of other gardeners who share my passion for growing things, for maintaining a healthy, sustainable environment, and learning to be good stewards of the earth.
I invite you to join me as I continue this journey gaining knowledge of everything related to our natural world, and along the way, developing friendships with roots that go deeper than any hole we may dig to plant our trees or flowers. Some plants may wither and die, but strong friendships nurtured through shared experiences will only grow with time.
Nancy Compton, Director Sacramento River Valley District