Why We Garden: It’s a Family Thing

As children, many of us helped our parents and grandparents tend vegetables, mow, pull weeds, and prune in the family garden. We might have taken these activities for granted- they were as woven into the fabric of our childhoods as the first day of school or cruising the block on our bikes.

Upon entering adulthood, we started to recognize that gardens are intentional acts. Our families maintained and cultivated plants not only to keep up appearances, but also because they are sources of food, beauty, and privacy, and opportunities to engage in environmental stewardship. Many of us soon realized that we wanted to be part of this intentional engagement with the land.

Gardener Spotlight: Adrian

Adrian is one such customer at Knecht’s. We started to see him, a lot, during the summer of 2020. When 2021 rolled around, back came Adrian, just as excited to work on his landscape as he had been the previous year. As we got to know him, Adrian told us that his love of planting is rooted in his family.

“Growing up, I watched my grandparents plant trees. My grandma inspired me to give back to the environment.” 

When Adrian bought his house a few years ago, there were no plants, no trees, and no privacy. He quickly set to work to correct the situation, dipping into the knowledge that his grandma had instilled in him as a child.

A love for hydrangeas turned into an obsession, and he has even referred to himself as “the guy with all the hydrangeas.” An Adirondack flowering crab soon joined the mix. A maple was a must for fall. As he kept on planting, the compliments from friends and neighbors started pouring in and motivated him to keep improving. 

Adirondack Flowering Crab
Adrian’s Adirondack flowering crab in spring

Adrian loves watching everything grow and thrive and he looks forward to keeping things neat and cared for. He has embraced the ever-changing nature of gardens and isn’t afraid to move things that aren’t working. His dedication to planning for the mature size of his trees is downright impressive when many of us struggle to overcome the temptation to crowd our plants.

Phantom Hydrangea Tree
Adrian’s Phantom Hydrangea tree

Adrian is building a diverse landscape one plant at a time and incorporating plants that engage the senses and support pollinators. He recently picked out a fragrant Agastache because of “the smell… and because it was covered in bees.” 

Bumblebee on Agastache
Fragrant Agastache is adored by bees

Anyone Can Garden

Adrian had the benefit of a family garden and a grandma who knew what she was doing, but whether or not anyone in your family has ever planted a tree doesn’t matter. You can start gardening any time. Every new gardener has to start somewhere, even if it’s with a single tree or a small veggie garden.

Gardening is a matter of doing. Learning to be a great gardener happens along the way. Of course, some advice from plant people doesn’t hurt either, and Knecht’s is happy to help in that department!