Eric finds that many gardeners developed their love of gardening growing up with a parent or relative who gardened and oftentimes that gardening experience centered around vegetable gardens. He remembers vividly the moment his kids first really got excited about gardening and it wasn't that different for him. With his children it was the point they came to the vegetable garden, they were 6 or 7 years old, and they were figuring out that the seeds they put in the ground just a few weeks earlier were now plants. They were now picking tomatoes, peppers and some really cool vegetables, like Japanese eggplant, and there was so much excitement that they were going to fill the giant basket of food, bring it inside and Mom was going to cook it. They were going to eat what they grew. Really cool. Thus he finds it rewarding to visit a public garden that devotes space to vegetable gardens.
The guys are next joined by Calvin who is already an avid gardener. Calvin is 14. He confesses he likes to grow anything you can grow although his favorite is cucumbers. But he also likes to grow corn. Calvin doesn't see a plant as what it is when he puts it in the ground, rather sees it as what it can be. If you plant a seed it turns into a cucumber, it's amazing to see that transformation from a little seed into a full grown plant. And, it's not that tough to do, in fact it's easy. Calvin gives us a planting demonstration. He has some sunflower seeds. Of course they are not only beautiful but additionally attract birds and wildlife and we can eat them. Calvin shows us how he plants them. One can dig a little trench either with their finger or a shovel, dig it about an inch or so deep, just use good judgement, then plant each seed, just lay it down about 4 inches apart, then cover it up lightly and pat it down. Once that is done water the area, it will start germinating and by the end of the season one will have giant, beautiful flowers full of more seeds. It's almost too easy. Thanks Calvin, it was great to meet you and to know the next generation of gardeners is out there.
By Susan Martin for Proven Winners,
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners
By now, we're all aware of how critically important it is to support the pollinators that produce so much of the food we eat and the flowers that enhance our surroundings. We all need to do what we can to provide a beneficial habitat, food and shelter for all kinds of bees, butterflies, moths and hummingbirds. Here are five new perennials we're introducing this year that pollinators will love.
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