Tag Archives | Ben Vogt

What Our Mothers Taught Us About Gardening and Life

Benjamin Vogt lives in Lincoln, Nebraska where he writes and gardens and garden coaches. He has a little memoir entitled Sleep, Creep, Leap: The First Three Years of a Nebraska Garden, and blogs at The Deep Middle. Visit him at his main website,  bevogt

As a lot of you already know, Ben is an exquisite writer…both his poetry and non-fiction. I’m delighted that he’s participating in this series. Fran Sorin

Did your mother pass down any stories about herself,  family members, neighbors, etc. that have to do with gardening?
My mother loved to visit her grandmother’s home. There she learned to pick and can vegetables, admired morning glories, and swung beneath a large weeping willow. It is then no surprise that some of her favorite plants include morning glories and willows, which she has begun planting in earnest around her new home.

Mom and I at PhD grad (2)

Knowledge of the above certainly wasn’t just handed out. In my family, silence is the norm. Not library silence, but free giving up of information is something that is earned with age and time. But even more so, such stories and knowledge come from my mother connect—with a tough sinew—to a history of childhood abuse and poverty. I’m sure one reason my mother connected so deeply with the plants of my great grandmother’s house must surely be that it was an escape from her stepfather, and a home where she was a second mother to four younger siblings.

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