Earth Day is later this month, so we chose a gardener for April who strives to make Earth Day EVERY day! @kimmyhen shows us that gardening isn’t only about the harvest it gives us, but about the benefits it gives to the rest of the earth as well. She credits her gardening success to her close tribe that surrounds her, and it is obvious that her garden is a place of pure joy. (Just wait until you see the smile on her dog’s face!)
If you were to give yourself a gardener name, what would it be?
Maybe I would be the Wildlife Gardener because my favorite part of gardening is the benefits it brings to the environment! I like to plant specifically for pollinators and love seeing the birds, bees, hummingbirds, frogs, etc. I also hatch butterflies. I grow butterfly weed to help save the monarchs and bee balm for the bees. I try using only organic fertilizers and supplies that are better for the environment.
What inspired you to start gardening?
Growing up in a rural area, I have always loved nature, so it was always something I aspired to do! My family and my boyfriend’s family also both love gardening, so it’s in our blood! It’s our favorite hobby to do together.
Describe your garden.
A big backyard garden with a little bit of everything! Vegetables (we ONLY plant Burpee veggies!), herbs, perennials, annuals. My favorite part of the garden is the dahlia garden! We grow over 30 different varieties in all different shapes, sizes, and colors!
Do you cook? What’s your favorite dish to make with your harvest?
I LOVE to cook! Some of my favorite things to make with our harvests are: homemade tomato sauce, beet and spinach quinoa salad, stuffed zucchini blossoms, pasta with fennel and Italian sausage, pina colada zucchini bread, tomato bruschetta, crab stuffed artichokes, stuffed peppers... too many to count! My garden also inspires me to bake, and I make cupcake flower bouquets as well!
Such a hard question. I love all vegetables but I would say it’s a 4-way tie between spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, and artichokes!
What’s one piece of advice you would give a beginner gardener?
Don’t overdo it! Too much watering and fertilizing is never good. I also over-pruned everything when I first started, too, so don’t do that! I would lastly say to try whatever you want! Everyone has different success with different things, so don’t be afraid to try something you may think is too hard.
2 golden retrievers named Sadie and Luna. They love that we garden because they LOVE vegetables, surprisingly! Especially cucumbers and radishes!
(Side note: We’ve heard that Luna is a bit of a ham in front of the camera, if you can’t tell by the smile.)
If you had a personal theme song, what would it be?
When I’m in the garden, I think it’s Zippity Doo Da because it makes me so happy! When I’m out there all is right in the world.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Gardening is the most fun when you can share the passion for it! I couldn’t have success in gardening without my boyfriend and our families. We all work together and I love it! My boyfriend and his dad built our beautiful garden beds, and my Mom bought us horse troughs that we use as beds. We all share our harvests, plants, tips. It makes it so much more fun!
Do you have a passion for gardening? Do you have a tip on how to help the environment through gardening? Do you just want to tell @kimmyhen how awesome she is? Share with us in the comments!