Confessions of a wannabe gardener


My Instagram profile says, “I grow roses and babies” and one of my favorite hashtags is #wannabegardener. Some of my posts make it look like I’m an avid gardener but that’s an illusion. I embrace the title of wannabe gardener.

I love “garden style.” Terra cotta pots, terrariums, Victorian green houses, herbs in tea cups on the windowsill, floral prints, English gardens and anything green…it’s all over my house and my Pinterest boards. In my dreams, I see myself in a wide-brimmed straw hat, flowered rubber boots and an apron, carrying a basket full of vegetables and flowers into the house.

In reality, I’m one of those moms who slides into Friday, battered and bruised, rejoicing that the kids and the cat survived another week as I high-five my husband and serve up pizza on paper plates. Besides my husband and I both being self employed with unpredictable schedules, we have karate four nights a week, two of which my husband is away from home. Dinner is often corn dogs or mac and cheese, not organic vegetables and herbs from my back yard garden.

I envy anyone who grows and prepares their own fruits and vegetables!

In fact, this wannabe gardener’s “back yard garden” is nothing more than a few geraniums in pretty pots on the back porch that I can see and enjoy from inside, plus a peach tree that came with the house.

Confessions of a wannabe gardener. East Valley Moms Blog. Tabitha Dumas
The peach tree that came with our house.

My real garden is a quarter mile away in my mom’s back yard and varies from lettuce, kale and tomatoes to peppers and basil. Fresh produce someone else grows suits our lives perfectly. She often cooks for us, too. Score! 

I do grow gorgeous roses, though!

My roses in the front yard are thriving. Five years ago, my two sons each bought me a rose bush for Mother’s Day, one pink and one yellow (see below). They started out no bigger than the average bouquet and now they’re so tall, they’d reach the roof line if we didn’t cut them back. They’re planted right in front of my home office window where I get to admire them while I work, and smell them every time I come and go from the house. In full bloom this time of year, I call them a “riot of roses.” 

Confessions of a wannabe gardener. East Valley Moms Blog. Tabitha Dumas (2)
The early days of my “garden.”

They’re wildly successful now and we’ve since added a lavender rose that’s also doing well. I attribute our success with roses to three factors: they’re on a north facing side of the house, they’re on a drip system and whatever type they are, they tolerate neglect.

Having a single bloom or a small bouquet in my house makes me feel like a bona fide gardener. I’m a successful gardener!…of those three rose bushes.

Maybe someday I’ll finally build a raised bed or start an herb garden based on all the ideas I’ve pinned. For now, my “garden” is a little slice of paradise and I can always put on a hat and an apron and head over to my mom’s with my clippers if I need a gardening fix. It’s another lesson in accepting the limitations of each season of life, and making the most of what I have.


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