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When I was growing up, at every family function during the spring and summer months, my grandma, mom and aunt would get together and take a walk around the yard of whoever’s house we were at and look at their garden. They would talk and talk and talk about this flower that was here, but was moved over there, this plant that wasn’t blooming like it did last year, the new additions to their garden collection and those darn rabbits that just would not leave their tomatoes alone.

the yard 2016 8
Within five to ten minutes of arriving, off the ladies would walk, talking shop about their gardens. Every. Time. It was like clockwork – their own little ritual.

My sister and I would look at each other and vow to never, ever turn out like that. Plants? Why on earth would we waste time talking about plants? We were never going to have a garden because that’s an ‘old people’ thing. Nope. Never going to happen.

the yard 2016 7
Fast forward a few years and my sister buys a house with her husband.

I remember the first time she mentioned the word ‘garden’ around me and I all but fell off my chair. I felt betrayed. We were a team – we formed a pact. My entire childhood was comprised of this deal we had to NOT garden. Ever. And she jumped ship without so much as a passing glance my way.

Of course, my mother was ecstatic. Finally one of her daughters decided it is okay to like plants and flowers and digging in the dirt.

the yard 2016 2

When we would get together with family, she slowly started to sneak away with the other women. She would utter the phrases that I’ve heard since I was five about the rabbits and the tomatoes and the flowers that weren’t growing like they should. And that was that. No turning back for her. Traitor.

the yard 2016 6

Fast forward eight years to this past March when Brett and I moved into the North Country Nest. It was winter, so the garden wasn’t even distinguishable. Not that I cared anyways because I wasn’t planning on wasting my time with things like plants and flowers.

And then winter started to fade away and the ground started to thaw and these green things started poking their heads out of the dirt. I was still very much in denial about not falling into the garden trap. My mom would ask about what I had growing in the yard and if I had planned out where I wanted the plants to go. I would pretend like I wasn’t listening or mumble something under my breath about how I wouldn’t be caught dead in gardening gloves.

the yard 2016 5

And then she came over one day with a few plants that she didn’t need and pink gardening gloves and before I knew it, I was digging up plants and spending my weekend moving Daylilies from one area of the yard to another and attempting to water these things on a regular basis and walking into stores by myself and actually spending my hard-earned money on PLANTS.

the yard 2016 4

I knew it was officially the end of an era when about a month ago, I went to my sister’s house. The sun was shining and we were enjoying a mojito [made with fresh mint from my garden] out on her back patio. She then casually mentioned that her mint was also taking off and said she wanted to show me what else she had growing. And with that, we both got up, slowly walked over to her garden and began to talk about the flowers, the plants and those darn rabbits that won’t leave the tomatoes alone 🙂

the yard 2016 3


All our best,



  1. Lora

    I LOVE this story, Kelly. It’s exactly how I was. I would never have imagined spending time and money on plants… yet now I love my flowers and garden.

    • Kelly

      Thank you Lora! I am glad I’m not the only holdout on gardening and plants 🙂

  2. Manda

    I’m so damn emotional… I’m sitting here tearing up over this. Darn you Kelly. ????
    Wait…. Nope, that was just tears from the stinky cilantro that I picked this morning????
    I love this. Almost as much as I love my sister. And mint.

    • Kelly

      Love you too, sissy 🙂

  3. colette @ restyle it wright

    Very sweet story! We NEVER think we’ll end up like our parents right? Then one day..poof there it is. Glad you are enjoying your newfound hobby of gardening 🙂

  4. zan

    Ha ha ha ha…such a funny story. Oh, I hear you about the things our parents did and we never imagined doing them ourselves. Now that we have grown up, I am guessing we are truly beginning to appreciate them???? Just maybe? Your plants are so beautiful and I can’t stop laughing!!

  5. Cristy || W. Collective

    Too cute! I tried to be a gardener once, but really stink at it! I do try to grow herbs (in pots) however, because herbs are essential to have on hand for good cocktail at a moments notice! Cheers to your plants! 🙂

  6. Sarah @ Making Joy and Pretty Things

    This is the sweetest story, and one I can definitely relate to. Never thought I would know so much about plants or have my own garden. Alas, it’s true what they say, you always turn into your parents 😉

  7. Trina

    Same! I keep telling my mom that the plans to will just die as I refuse to do anything to them but then yesterday she came over and we trimmed them and pulled weeds and killed some weeds… and now I’m actually thinking about growing vegetables in my back yard who am I? I can’t even keep a cactus alive but I’ve tricked myself into this since these preannuals are so resilient! Haha



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