The reckless gardener

My friend is a crazy amateur gardener. I call her crazy because she just plants things and hopes they grow. We're talking no prep, no plan, no fuss, no muss. Sound weird? Let me explain. A couple of springs ago, Jessica and her boyfriend worked hard to have the perfect garden. They designed an elaborate grid to plant their seeds. (He's in the military so he's all about plans. I imagine, once sprouted, he fully expected all of the veggies to stand at attention when he walks by. But I digress.) Let's just say that Jessica and her boyfriend were as ready as they could possibly be for this undertaking. They were super pleased with their plans. The day came and they executed everything to perfection...only to have all their efforts go to waste because of a spring rain the next day. It washed everything away (on to a neighboring plot in their community garden). You can imagine how frustrated they were at this turn of events. So the following spring, Jessica decided to take things into her own less-organized and less-militaristic hands. Jessica's boyfriend was away (he's in the military, as I said) so, unsupervised, Jessica showed her true stripes. In a fit of reckless and random abandon, she scattered her seeds without any grid or forethought.

At first I thought this was very strange until a friend told me recently that a lazy gardener is the best gardener! Jessica's philosophy is in keeping with a whole no-till movement! Who knew? And believe it or not, it is working. Many summers and falls, I have reaped the benefit of J.'s random gardening method: enjoying copious amounts of lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, and more.

Whatever you think of her gardening style, Jessica is to be admired for her grit. She would never call herself a gardener. She's the first to admit she didn't know the first thing about gardening, actually, but she didn't let fear of the unfamiliar or failure in the past hold her back. She dove in, muddy feet first.

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My daughter dove into gardening at UVA. She, too, didn't know much about it, but by her fourth year, she ended up being a leader for the community garden they had on grounds.

Another friend of mine, Celeste Longacre (gotta love her name), has been gardening/preserving/canning/freezing veggies for over 35 years. Listen for her approach on gardening in my podcast episode entitled (appropriately) "In the garden."

These three are all my heroes! Personally I'm still growing as a gardener. (See what I did there?) Do you garden? Are you a planner (like Jessica's boyfriend) or are you more the reckless sort (like Jessica herself)?  Tell me in the comments below!