The Landless Master Gardener or …

How the Third Time is the Charm

I am embarking on a rite of passage, a pilgrimage many devout gardeners take at some point in their life; the quest for their Master Gardener Certification. This journey begins with an exhilarating rush: meeting classmates for the first time, receiving your binder- let me introduce you to your reading material, AKA your new garden bible, for the next ten weeks- the courting of project coordinators looking for new volunteers and the anticipation of the final exam. It is thrilling. I should know. This is the third time I have started this endeavor.

I will save you the details of why the first two treks down the path hit a dead-end… just think relocation and then a major life changing event.

So here I am, again, in the beginning of the process, third week to be exact, and I am loving it. My classmates are quite diverse. We have younger gardeners to gardeners that are in the thick of their retirement. There are those who have lived here all their lives and those who are new to Cincinnati and our lovely clay soil. Sorry, master gardener instructor. I know you say it is not clay, but man, when you try to plant a shrub, even small annuals, sure feels like clay! I digress …

The first night togeher we shared a bit about ourselves, which was all garden related of course. As we did this, I was a reminded of how diverse gardening can be. From container gardeners to those reclaiming a ten acre plot, it all comes down to grownups love to play in the soil and create something bigger than ourselves.

What is not apparent to you, yet, but already revealed to the class, is I am a landless gardener- not even a square foot of land do I own. But, all is well in my garden world. I had a rather large garden with a pond and woodland trails. But now I am in a condo. Do I despair, being the landless gardener? Why no!

Remember the two aborted attempts at Master Gardener classes? The events that caused that set the wheels in motion that brought me here, to a place in life where I can embrace and indulge completely, without distractions, in this experience. A place where I take horticulture classes at the university and garden in my two favorite places in Cincinnati- a local park and an historic cemetery and arboretum.

Not to be too philosophical, but things happen for a reason. Some plants fail, some become aggressive. Some garden designs inspire and others disappoint. And, sometimes accomplishments are postponed, to when we are ready to really appreciate the experience.



  1. Good luck! I love your positive attitude...old enough to know what we truely love we finally become.

  2. Yes, things do happen for a reason and you are right where you are supposed to be. Like new growth emerging in the garden, enjoy the unfurling of each day and watch the changing beauty. Have fun with the master gardening program!