The whys for and against gardening

Introduction by Kathy Conner Cornell With trying to write a gardening article every week, I teasingly suggested to one friend that she write an article about why she hates gardening. A day later I suggested to another friend that she write an article about how she liked to weed. How great are those friends to actually take the time to do my bidding. Grace is an avid gardener and birder. As Nancy admits her passion is quilting. My passion is having truly wonderful friends to rely on especially during this crazy time. Why I like to weed By Grace McCrowell People look at me strangely when I say I like to weed the garden. Since I’m an early riser, my favorite time to weed is beginning at daybreak when the weather is still cool in the summer. Sitting in a chair, I go around the plants and pull out everything except the flower or vegetable plants. Spring is my favorite time of year. I listen to the bird calls and songs as I dig in the dirt. The tools I use are a hand held fork-like thing with prongs, a straight digger and a not too heavy mattock. Sometimes I sing songs, hymns or chants so it is also a spiritual time for me. “I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses ….” The heat eventually runs me back to the house. It is quite rewarding to look around at what has been accomplished. Why I Hate Gardening By Nancy Yancura Tiver Mt. Laurel is the place to be….farm living is the life for me…. da-a-a-a, da, dah… I’m singing the truth. I love life in Halifax County on our little vegetable farm. It was through my BFF Kathy Conner Cornell that my hubby Bill and I landed here. We came to visit Kathy and her hubby Bill, and fell in love with the area. We’ve been enjoying our farm in Mt. Laurel for about 16 years now. Before we finished our careers, we had decided to buy a farm to retire on. First my husband entertained the idea of farming in upstate New York, but when I told him there was not enough anti-depressants in the world to get me through a winter where you have to climb out of your upstairs windows to shovel the snow off the roof, he let that notion go. Then, we discovered Mt. Laurel, and found it perfect. He would be able to return to his farming heritage and passion for growing vegetables. And me? I would quilt. Bill, my hubby, had a vision of growing sweet corn, and I would be the woman sitting on the tailgate of the pickup truck selling corn at the farmers market. My vision of his vision? Sweating, sunburn, and heatstroke—nope, not gonna happen. He finally gave up on that idea too. Actually though, I do have a summer job helping out at our farm. But not farming. Why not farming? Not even a garden, you ask? I’ll tell you why. As I mentioned previously, I quilt. I love to quilt. My passion is quilting. I love the color, texture, form, patterns and smell of fabric. I have more sewing machines than I need, more fabric than I need, and too many sewing gadgets. It’s great! I belong to a couple of quilt guilds, and love to travel to quilt shows and fabric stores. Therefore, I must have squeaky clean, smooth hands, with no soil under my fingernails. Nix the digging. Enough said. Oh? I could remedy that with garden gloves you say? Even if I did want to use garden gloves, I know that they would make my hands sweaty and I’d still end up with a certain amount of dust on my hands. Eck… But supposing I did want to go as far as putting on gloves and digging, that means I’d have to work outside in the weather. I’ll confess, in my mind’s eye, there is a very small window of perfect weather to garden in. (Remember: Sweating, sunburn, and heatstroke.) Well, let’s say if the weather actually ever met my approval of suitability for gardening, there would be the truly, very real, and serious problem of all the bending. Since I’ve had back surgery and have permanent rods and screws in my back, I’ve had to be very careful about that. (Don’t even suggest one of those cute, little rolling garden stools. Refer to issues above) Who likes bugs and snakes? Guess who doesn’t? If you guessed ‘Me’, you guessed right. We don’t even have to go there. The one thing I can say, is that some of the sweetest friends I’ve met and made are the gardeners. They appreciate nature and beauty and creativity, and shape, color and fragrance, just like me--so it turns out that quilters and gardeners have many common qualities. Therefore, I rationalize that the world probably won’t suffer over the fact that I don’t garden. There are many gardeners in Halifax County to pick up my slack. The Master Gardeners of Halifax County are a delightful group of people who share the same passion for nature. If you enjoy nature, yearn for gardening knowledge, and would like to grow your own green thumb, please allow me to recommend you contact the Master Gardeners. See below for more information. I’d be remiss if I didn’t include that if your alternate passion to gardening might be quilting, Halifax County also has the Golden Leaf Quilters Guild (currently on pandemic break) which is a super-great group of people who love to quilt, learn and expand their quilting abilities. To find out more call Nancy at 434-454-4586. More information on Southside Master Gardeners While we are all still practicing ‘social distancing’ due to COVID-19, and all Halifax County buildings remain closed to the public, if you have gardening questions, you can best reach an Extension Master Gardener or Extension staff member by sending an email to If you can’t email, you can call and leave a message at the Extension Master Gardener Help Desk at 434-830-3383, giving us your name, telephone number, and nature of the call. The Help Desk phone is checked timely and someone will get back to you, although it may be from a different telephone number. Keep washing your hands, wear your mask and contemplate how you really feel about gardening.