I finally worked in my yard this weekend. I hesitate to call it gardening because the garden gene passed me by.

My grandfather was a wonderful gardener. His backyard (a smallish lot in Detroit) was ablaze with color and shapes and textures. He also grew African violets in the basement and entered many of them in shows. Going to flower shows with my grandpa is one of my many fond memories of spending time with my grandparents.

My mother, his daughter, liked to garden. She did more container gardens and annuals but the yard was always full of the flowers. Snapdragons were her favorite.

My aunt lived on a "big country lot" in Farmington. She grew great sweeps of flowers - lush and lovely, ready to be brought inside once you shook the ants off.

My grandmother on my dad's side also was a gardener. She lived in Florida for the winter but in the summer she developed rock gardens, grew roses and was always expanding a huge bed by the side of the house.

Me, I do yard work. Which mostly consists of pulling up oregano that is threatening to take over my neighborhood. Who would have thought that attempting something as comforting as a herb garden would become such a menace?

When my husband was alive we planted vegetables. Nothing too exciting - tomatoes, peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower. Sometimes pumpkins. We had good success but after he died and the kids got older our gardens started dwindling. Things really took a nosedive when my son told his sister he peed in the garden one night. Now the garden area holds just weeds and oregano.

I want to like to garden. Sometimes I'll even get excited in the spring and have big dreams of bright flowers. By July it's too hot or too buggy or too wet or too time consuming for me to follow those dreams.

My best friend loves to garden. She is known for her compost pile. She picks beautiful bouquets, sells healthy plants, loves spending the day digging in the dirt. A visit to her place always includes an hour-long tour of her gardens. Her knowledge is phenomenal.

I took a Master Gardening class with her. I learned a lot, I even got a better grade on the final exam than she did.

But what she learned she put to use. What I learned was gardening is just too much work.


Terri Lescelius is a former EagleHerald Editor. Her contact information is no longer available. Those who would like to contact her may send email to news@eagleherald.com, with Attn: Terri Lescelius in the subject line.