I've learned so much this year about gardening. Even though I feel like I've been a gardener most of my life, lots of the things I'm trying for the first time. That's certainly true with winter sowing.
One of my friends today asked me, when did you become a gardener? She said, "When I knew you 20 years ago you never mentioned gardening!" That's also true. Twenty years ago, I was raising 3 little ones, working full time as a teacher and school administrator, and living a full and happy life with my growing family.
BUT my mom lived with us in the guest house in the back yard at that time (you have seen it in many of the videos). And she gardened every day. Our front yard was the envy of the neighborhood!
Some of my happiest memories with her are of the two of us walking our front yard, and dreaming about that season's planting, and what needed trimming, and what needed watering. I didn't do any of the gardening at that time. But I was a shadow gardener, soaking in everything that my mom could teach me, and enjoying her joy in the flowers and trees.
Further back than that, I spent every summer in South Dakota with my mother's grandparents, who were city farmers, transplanted from a farm in Java, South Dakota. Their backyard yielded hundreds of quarts of tomatoes, cucumber, watermelons, & carrots, with irises, roses, and daisies blooming all summer too. I would pad around after my grandpa, and help him pick the dill, check on the cukes, and water the roses. Unfortunately, I did not learn a thing about canning from my grandma!
So, while I haven't always been an actual gardener with hands in the ground, It's in my genes. And that's a legacy I'm very happy about.