We all get our inspiration in different ways. Sometimes it’s something impressive and significant. A big wow moment. In gardening maybe it was a vacation you took or a garden you visited. But now and then it’s a small thing that you didn’t realize at the time that it would impact your life.
How It Started
When I was a kid in Redondo Beach, CA my next door neighbor, Mrs. Knottman, had a lovely yard with a low white fence in front. She was always out there in her fancy clothes and heels weeding and tending to her yard. Now maybe that was just once or twice? You know, how you come home from work or church and see some weeds that need a quick picking?
Though, she was from a generation that didn’t wear jeans or even slacks often. So maybe she did weed in her nice clothes all the time. I do remember her as a classy lady with a classy yard!
Every Christmas she had the neighbor kids over for a little party. What I remember most about that is the train that ran on a track under her tree. This is such a fond memory for me!
One of my favorite things she did was to have a sunflower growing contest. She gave us seeds and instructions and we planted them in our yards. We watered them and tended them and watched them grow before our eyes. And they grew and grew and grew! It was so exciting! Such a tall sturdy plant from such a small seed.
And then the judging. I was so thrilled to hear her praise and wonder over my sunflowers! She judged the tallest and the biggest flower. I don’t remember the prizes really, just the joy on her face was reward enough, as I’m sure she appreciated the joy on mine!
Thank you, Mrs. Knottman. That was the start to my love of growing things. I’m sure you would have loved to know what a great influence you were on me.
I’m thinking I should hold my own contest with the kids in my neighborhood. Maybe if I can just inspire a few kids like she did me then it will be worth it!
Please share if there was someone or something that inspired you to grow things as a child or adult!