Nurturing hobbies outside work is essential when you work in a creative field. If we don't take time to fill up the well of inspiration, it runs dry.
We took some time to chat with our Retail Operations Manager, Anna, about her interest in gardening and the garden she's been cultivating and nurturing with her husband over the last couple of years. It's been a passion project for them both, and we loved hearing her insights on this grounding practice.
Have you always had a green thumb?
I have always had an interest in florals, plants and horticulture but I feel I got my green thumb from working at a floral design studio for three years. Learning the habits and requirements of many different plants and flowers and how to work with them helped me become more intuitive with gardening. I started out with indoor plants which is a great place to learn before venturing outside - since the environment is more climate controlled.
How do you feel when you're in the garden with your hands in the soil?
I find gardening extremely grounding. Whether my hands are in the soil or I have my feet on earth, the tactile connection and practice always reminds me to slow down and appreciate nature. One of my favorite grounding activities in our garden is to pick fruit from our trees into my big basket - it’s very fulfilling and calming.
Do you have a current gardening project that you're working on?
My husband and I are working on planning out and planting our summer vegetable garden. In the winter, he designed and built an a-frame covered vegetable bed in our backyard - and we are very excited to get things into the ground. Other than that, I am working on planting some wildflowers and continuing to care for our citrus, apple, fig, blueberry, grape and pear trees and plants.
Have you faced any challenges while learning to garden?
Certainly! We’ve only lived at our house for one and half years and learning the lighting patterns throughout the seasons has been crucial in our successes and challenges. The way the garden is situated in our yard, the winter sun hits drastically different from summer sun.
Natural lighting patterns, watering schedules, pruning and proper spacing are all things I would recommend reading up on as those tend to be common challenges. For example, certain produce likes to be planted together (and some do very poorly next to each other!) When you are pruning citrus trees, it is beneficial for the tree to take off more than you likely feel is necessary. Eventually, it begins to feel more intuitive. Additionally, keep in mind sometimes there are “off” years - it’s important not to get discouraged. Part of gardening is a lesson in patience.
What has been your biggest success or point of pride in the garden?
Harvesting our fruit throughout the seasons and getting to share with friends and family has been a big source of pride. Being able to make fresh applesauce, lemon curd and orange juice using produce straight from our yard always makes me really happy.