A New Bloom

Updated: Jan 3

Hello! I'm Amethyst, a new journalism intern here at The Bullock Garden Project. I'm currently a student at Rider University, where I major in journalism. I am so excited to be apart of such a welcoming team, and I'm also excited to write many future projects that you all will be able to read! Here is the first piece I have written for my internship, and I hope to write many more. This piece illustrates my experiences with gardening, and of course, as I learn more about being apart of the team, you will see my growth in my knowledge of gardening and all things related.

By Amethyst Martinez

Dirty Shoes

I remember when I was small, running along the edge of my grandfather’s yard, following him to his old garden. By the time we left, our shoes were dirty and our smiles were big. He had a small greenhouse, where he grew tiny pots among each other, but his real prized possession was his admirable garden. I remember seeing the greenery, with the tomatoes adding red hues. Being outside in the summer has a particular aroma: the pollen, the grass, and the flowers in bloom. I can picture it so vividly now, even though I’m much older. He used to bring his wicker picnic basket out, and pick the countless vegetables that were ripe. We would walk along the rows, and my task would be to find the ones ready for being picked. We then would go inside and clean the veggies for our family to eat for dinner that evening.

My grandfather is a fixer, and he always had been. He built his garden and greenhouse from the ground up, and would always innovate when difficulties would arise. His biggest pet peeve was when his chickens would pick at his garden, but as children, we thought it was the most comical sight to see. My grandfather would read his gardening books in the winter when the bitter cold couldn’t create the beautiful food the summer could. I would look out the window at the once alive garden, waiting for next season. I look back on some of these memories now with a warm heart.

Now I’m eighteen, and I no longer know the things about the outside like I used to. My grandfather still has a smaller garden, but I no longer help him. The first time I gave a good look at his new garden was this summer when he found baby bunnies hidden underneath the leaves. We looked at them in awe, as they waited for their mother to return. The garden grows more life than just green matter, I suppose. I looked around, and my grandfather’s garden was much smaller, but still beautiful. He grew his tomatoes and spinach, and although it wasn’t what it used to be, it was still something. This made me miss playing outside, and the scent I remember so vividly. I miss the bonding experiences gardening would give us, and how much it brought us together. He is always so proud of something so minuscule, and seeing his work pay off made him smile in ways that nothing else could. I try to emulate the way he finds beauty in everything: even if it’s just a tomato on a stem. Now, I admire from afar, by eating his creation or watching him work from out the window. I miss our time, and I am so indebted to him for these memories that I reminisce daily.

Now, as an adult, I still crave to be surrounded by greenery, just as I did when I was a little girl playing outside. As I look around my bedroom, my plants lay everywhere. Something about growing my plants brings me a profound sense of fondness and pride. I’m their caretaker, their mother, and they rely on me: even if they’re just insignificant house plants. They still grow wildly, and still are so captivating in my eyes. I can’t help but smile now when I think about how much they’ve grown since I purchased them. My once sunflower seeds just grew their first bloom a week ago, and I have not been as excited for anything else these last few months as I was when I noticed. The feeling you get when you take care of something, and it gifts you a beautiful prize in return is something that cannot be artificially made. Although I no longer play outside, I now have my plants grow among me. Although my shoes are no longer dirty, I’m still able to smile about what the world can give us.

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