Gardening has become one of my favorite hobbies and it’s a great compliment to my yoga practice. Join me for a quick garden tour and see what I’m growing in Southeast Louisiana this season. I’ve also answered a few “getting to know you” gardening questions below.
Did you have a garden growing up?
I grew up on a barrier island in central Florida. Our house is a half a block from the Atlantic Ocean. The heat and salt air makes gardening tricky so we didn’t necessarily have a “garden” but we certainly had a lot of plants around. My dad loved palm trees and we had six coconut palm trees growing in the front yard. We also had several tropical hibiscus growing. Most years, my mom planted flowers in the small beds in front of the house. Easter Lilies were a family favorite. Occasionally, we grew veggies in containers. I remember growing tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplant. My grandparents lived with us and they always grew basil in container
Who taught you how to garden?
I’m self-taught for the most part. I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos to learn about container gardening and I rely on the LSU Ag Center’s gardening resources. I’ve also learned from friends and neighbors.
Why do you garden?
I garden for the same reasons I practice yoga: it’s fun and brings me joy. It’s also a lot of hard work and can be a little disappointing. But like my yoga practice, gardening encourages me to stay present and give my best effort without being too attached to an outcome.
When did you start your garden?
I bought my house in November 2019. When I moved in, I brought a bunch of spider plants and bromeliads, and a rosemary plant with me. Even though I have large front and back yards, In 2020, I focused mainly on container gardening and I had a lot of success. This year I’m continuing with that strategy.
How do you decide what to grow?
I take a very hands off approach to gardening, so I try to plant things that are low maintenance and will give me the biggest bang for my buck. For my edible garden, I wrote a list of all the herbs and veggies that I enjoy and then chose the ones that would grow best in my climate and would require the least amount of work. I also grow heirloom varieties of basil and squash from Italy as a way to stay connected to my heritage.
Which plant brings you the most joy?
They all bring me joy for different reasons. This season, I planted candy stripe cosmos for the first time and they are absolutely stunning! Last year, I grew a ton of bell peppers, okra, and string beans and I had a lot of fun finding creative ways to eat them. I’m also really proud of my cucuzza.