A seed, fertile ground and a passion born
If you asked me to name the specific day my gardening love affair began, I couldn’t. Like a seed, it quietly germinated, pushing its roots into all corners of my life before it made a visible appearance. I was blissfully helpless by the time I discovered how strong a hold it had on me, and I was unprepared for how much it would fill my life with fascination, frustration and joy.
Looking back, I can identify moments that guided my growth into a gardener, thanks to the loving tutelage of my mom and my grandmothers. I repaid them by serving as fearless garter snake scout before they ventured into their gardens. I wasn’t fond of the mundane task of weeding, but I eagerly helped at harvest time when I would cheerfully pop strawberries, raspberries and peas fresh off the vine into my mouth. Every spring and summer, I would plunge my nose deeply into the sweetly scented flowers of the lilacs, peonies and roses they had planted. I learned the fine art of crafting clover blossom necklaces from my paternal grandma. Under the shady canopy of oaks, elms and maples that sheltered my parents’ and my grandparents’ homes, I daydreamed many a summer afternoon away. Although my childhood impatience never allowed me to learn more than a smattering of gardening lore, a fertile foundation had been prepared.
In my teens and early twenties, I dabbled in houseplants; I was the Queen of Spider Plants in the ‘70s. I named them and talked with them, and I carted them carefully across the country during my many moves. My little Datsun was nicknamed the Green Machine, not because of its color but because of the 30-some houseplants that filled my car. It was a relatively harmless hobby that didn’t prepare me for the obsession that bloomed as I entered my thirties.
And then – oh, my - this long dormant passion came roaring to life. My hunger for plants and knowledge was insatiable. I devoured wisdom from books and magazines, attended gardening events and lectures, and chatted with fellow gardeners. If our job as gardeners is to grow many plants and to kill a few of them, I've been doing my job well, perhaps too well, at times. I enjoy the adventure of trial and error as much as I enjoy my successes.
I can think of no better way to spend the day than weeding, creating, nurturing and building new memories in my garden. I’m not done growing and neither is my garden. I can’t wait to see what new adventures and discoveries are next.
My garden has been featured in:
The Quintessential Portland Gardener, Portland Monthly, April 2012.
Great Plant Combos made easy, vol 2, a Garden Gate special publication, Spring 2012.
Sunset magazine, June 2011.
Garden Gate magazine, December 2010.
Great Gardens: Amazing spaces & perfect plants, a Garden Gate special publication, 2010.
The Nonstop Garden: A Step-by-Step Guide to Smart Plant Choices and Four Season Design by Stephanie Cohen and Jenifer Benner. Timber Press. 2010.
Natural wonder in the garden of Lisa Albert. Metro Summer GreenScene, June 2009.
Seeding Our Future Garden Tour & Art Show, June 21, 2008
The Times, June 19, 2008
Good Day Oregon, Home & Garden, KPTV, video, June14, 2008
The Oregonian Homes & Gardens of the Northwest, October 2004
The Times, September 2004
Sunset magazine, Elements of a habitat garden, November 2002
The American Gardener, magazine, American Horticultural Society.
The Berry Botanic Garden
Digger, magazine, Oregon Association of Nurseries
Fine Gardening, magazine
Garden Gate magazine
Metro: Natural Gardening program
Oregon State University Extension 4-H Wildlife Steward program
Rainy Side Gardeners
Response interactive, Interactive Marketing agency
Seeding Our Future Garden Tour & Art Show, Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools
Sunset Publishing, magazine and book divisions
The Times Community Newspapers, Pamplin Media Group
Silver Award of Achievement, 2010 Garden Writers Association Media Awards program for "Put on a show with containers," The Oregonian: Homes & Gardens of the Northwest. April 30, 2009. (see articles page for link.)
Volunteer of the Year, 2008, The Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools.
Volunteerism "From the Heart" award, 2002, Tigard Area Chamber of Commerce.
The Berry Botanic Garden—Instructor
Kaiser Permanente Poison Prevention, Garden—Docent
Loen Nursery—Retail Sales
Metro Natural Gardening Program—Workshop Instructor
National Wildlife Federation's Habitat Steward Program—Workshop Instructor
Naturescaping for Clean Rivers—Workshop Facilitator
OSU Master Gardener (volunteer)
OSU 4-H Wildlife Steward (volunteer)
OSU 4-H Wildlife Steward—School Coordinator and Training Instructor
OSU, Yamhill County's Streamside Gardening Program—Workshop Instructor
Rainy Side Gardeners—Contributing Editor
Seeding Our Future Garden Tour & Art Show - Event Co-chair
American Horticultural Society
The Berry Botanic Garden
Environmental Education Association of Oregon
Garden Writers Association
Hardy Plant Society of Oregon
Native Plant Society of Oregon
Northwest Horticultural Society
OSU Master Gardener Program
OSU 4H Wildlife Steward Program
Photos and Text, Copyright ©2007 Lisa Albert. All rights reserved.
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