I enjoy gardening. I find it very calming and relaxing. It connects me with the earth and the environment around me and makes me happy. I am a teacher and I enjoy using gardens to connect to the curriculum for a hands on experience. I have helped to develop gardens at several of the schools where I have taught.
My parents had some gardens while I was growing up, but that never really interested me. It was when I was in college doing and internship with Big Brothers Big Sisters and was part of an AmeriCorps team that collaborated with the Penn State Center for Sustainability to develop an inter-generational garden project that I became hooked.
My first extensive gardening experience was at a property I owned in Georgia, dubbed the Honey Hole. There were almost two acres of property which I opened up to my community to collaborate on the gardens. We had several different designs including french gardens which were created by the owner before me, a labyrinth designed by my girlfriend at the time, but now my lovely wife. There were also a couple traditional row gardens, one which was fenced in and the compost piles became gardens of their own as we built trellises to display the passion flower which grew wild there. We even had an old tipi structure which we transformed into a garden.
My most recent gardening experience has been working with Champ’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to build community gardens at Jere Baxter Middle School in Nashville. We collaborated to create seven raised beds made of cedar and an in ground perennial bed.