Hobbies. That’s the subject of the day. What do I do in my spare time? Spare time, what’s that? With two jobs, time off is a rare thing, but if I do get free time, I love to visit with friends, work on photography projects testing new techniques and checking off the bucket list of shots I want to take.
Times like that, however, are usually planned way in advance or spontaneous things that I don’t always get to do on a regular basis. So, if you have read Power Divided, then it probably wouldn’t surprise you that gardening is one of my favorite hobbies.
Learning what plants need to succeed is a mild obsession. I don’t know if it’s because Howie was a landscaper once upon a time, or if being a photographer and having a good working knowledge of the seasons and what is going to be in bloom is really important to a successful shoot for some of my clients. For example, if a couple wants to do a bluebonnets session, the season is a short two to five week period in the spring that happens in our state, thanks to Lady Bird Johnson and her mission to beautify Texas highways. But if you plan on doing your engagement session in the fall, well, I can do a lot but I am not King Henry and cannot make a meadow bloom with a thought.
Architectural gardening is one of the things I would love to do if I had a lot of spare time. With Howie being a mason and our love of plants, it’s the perfect hobby for us to enjoy together.
Last summer, I added a few new citrus plants to our garden, and limes, Meyer lemons, satsuma oranges, and key lime trees were added to the bay tree and the herbs that grow underneath. In the fall and winter, kale, rosemary, sage, and a few other herbs are hearty in my region in southern Texas, and in the summer, I will usually try to get a wide variety every year to see how they do. Basil, sage, thyme, oregano, and mint do amazingly well. But be careful with mint because it likes to spread and can take over if it gets the chance, so I like to keep the mints at the far end on their own. But if you think there is only one kind of mint, you might be in for a surprise with the varieties that vary from mints that have hints of lemon to chocolate.
If you think gardening is an outdoor activity, only, you would be wrong. I have shelves of African violets (big surprise!) in my window, and I like having an herb garden in my other kitchen window, usually filled with green onions, and basil to use for a meal without having to head outside if it’s raining.
Here’s another little tip, that if you get the chance, you might want to try With some things you buy in the store like green onions or maybe some leftover garlic. Before you throw them away, if you have a patch of cleared soil, try planting them in the dirt and water them in. Green onions will come back faster than you can imagine and a clove of garlic will become a whole new bulb! If you are peeling potatoes in the fall and you cut the eyes off the skin of the potatoes, you can put those in the soil (eye side down) and you might end up with a whole new batch of potatoes in early spring. It’s amazing what you can do with the scraps you would normally throw away but anything that has a seed has the potential to be something more.
That’s probably why I love gardening so much because I love to think that’s true for anyone. We can be seeds, and we have the potential to be more. On a bad day, seeing it happen reminds me that tomorrow is a new beginning when anything can happen. And with the right formula of nourishment and love can transform and become something more given a chance.