Weeding is like meditating for Cindy Gregg.
“You can see where you’ve made a lot of progress and you can solve all of the world’s problems … I find it very relaxing,” she says.
Her fellow gardeners at Crabtree Farms tease her because she enjoys the task that so many hate. She first came to the farm to gain volunteer hours while taking Master Gardener classes. She fell in love with the garden, the people and the staff, and kept coming back after her class was completed. She learns something every time she goes there.
She views gardening as a big science experiment and enjoys the challenge of discovering what it takes to grow each variety successfully.
“If I put a plant in and it doesn’t live, I have to figure out why,” she says.
Gardening was more of a chore when Gregg was a young girl. One of seven children, she and her siblings would each be assigned rows of the garden to weed or harvest. Her mother stuck to vegetables, and had the philosophy “if you can’t eat it, why bother growing it,” Gregg says.
She learned her love of flowers from her grandmother, Florence Baumberger, who lived next door. She was elderly, and not mobile enough to weed the garden. Gregg says Baumberger would bring out a chair and sit by the garden, telling her what weeds to pull, and which were flowers.
“That’s how I learned my flowers,” she says.
She is now passing the love of gardening on to her grandchildren. When they come to the house, each of them has their own gardening tools, and they “dig holes, look for worms, play in flowers,” she says.
Since she lives on a wooded lot, Gregg has only grown flowers until this spring. This year, her husband built raised beds in the only sunny spot in the yard, and she is looking forward to having a vegetable garden.
She tries to remind herself daily to walk through the garden and enjoy what she has accomplished instead of worrying about what needs to be done.