What struck me most about Felder Rushing’s presentation last week at our Gardening in an Era of Climate Change symposium was that for him (and for me) gardening is all about nostalgia and doing what you love.
It is about plants that have been grown for generations by our grandparents or great grandparents. It is about remembering people we love through the experience of growing plants together. And it is about doing what we want with our gardens just because we want to and it feels good (even if it means a blue bottle tree that your neighbors might frown upon). (photos courtesy of Felder Rushing)
If we are lucky to have someone we love to teach us about plants as Felder had his grandmother, we revel in telling the story of each plant in our garden — and we are able to remember plants as sacred. The redbud tree that came from a volunteer from my mother’s garden. The daffodil and starflower bulbs that I dug up from our old house and brought with me when we moved, despite the huge effort it took to pack “just a few more things.” The strawberry begonia from my Nana Ruby. The volunteer magnolia that my father-in-law brought in a 5-gallon paint bucket from Savannah. The corkscrew willow cutting that a vendor gave my 2-year-old daughter at the Maymont Flower & Garden Show 6 years ago — that now stands 25-feet tall. All of these plants have a story. All of these plants are easy reminders of why I garden.
I am incredibly grateful for Felder reminding me that even in today’s world it is important to still make time for gardening. It is so importatnt to remmber how important it is to make time to continue that tradition with my own children. (If you are interested in this topic, make sure you check out our next symposium in April– No Child Left Inside: Restoring Nature to Early Childhood )
I still remember the priceless gift my own mother gave me at age 5 when she let me have my own 2-foot by 2-foot triangle section of her big garden. It was better than any sandbox I’d ever seen, and grew the best carrots I’d ever tasted.
If you are looking for inspiration in gardening, look no further. Felder Rushing offers that and much more in this podcast: