Travel Garden Notes–Gardening on the Road


You can garden anywhere!

What if you had to leave your garden behind in the early Spring–and you had to stay away for several months? Would you survive the trauma?

How would you nurture your well developed need to cultivate earth space and watch the miracles of life unfold?

Here are notes on my travel garden journey, complete with resources and suggestions for any traveling gardener or gardener with a small space.

My Travel Garden Notes

I had to leave my garden behind in the early spring–just when the gardening bug is at its strongest. It’s bad enough I have to stop gardening during the winter. A greenhouse is on my “want” list!

One of my daughters was about to have a baby and her husband was leaving on deployment. I did what any mother would do–packed my bags, left our 173 acres in Southeast Ohio and headed out to San Diego.

Although my husband loves to have a garden, he really doesn’t have the time to give a garden very much attention. My trips home were discouraging–well, only in the gardening sense. I had to let go of my gardening dreams for this year. I did have a beautiful grand daughter to nurture, so it wasn’t traumatic for me in the least!

The Need to Dig–Gardening in Small Spaces

But when her beautiful little self dozed–or her mommy was home from work, I still needed to dig, plant, prune, and step back to observe. My daughter lives in a gated apartment complex. It’s well landscaped and very beautiful. But there was no soil, no patch at all that she and her husband had any control over.

She wanted to have plants on her patio, so that gave me the chance I was looking for. I researched patio gardening and learned a lot about innovative gardening ideas being developed in urban areas.

Another daughter lives in Tucson, Arizona. She has asked me to “stop by” once my son-in-law arrives from deployment. She has requested that I help her create a garden on her porch. She isn’t talking about flowers, but about edibles!

Then there’s my sister’s trip to China. She lives with my elderly mother and that helps everyone rest easy. But her job was taking her for a three week trip to China. I took two of those weeks. This was not a babysitting enterprise. Our mother can take care of her own needs. It was a “peace of mind” enterprise! Instead of going home in July, I spent the time with her in Connecticut. That led to a big surprise in Ohio during my August trip home.

What are some ways of nurturing your gardening needs both off season and when necessity takes you away from a garden for a time?

Ways to Nurture the Gardening Need

  • Ask someone if they’d like help in their garden.
  • Visit a botanical garden.
  • Visit a community garden and offer to help out.
  • Ask if anyone near you would like help in starting a garden.
  • Staying with a friend? Ask if you can grow two plants (minimum for a gardener’s sanity) in the yard, patio or porch.
  • Call a school and see if there are any gardening tasks you can volunteer to help out with. (Keep in mind you will need to get a background check.)
  • Carry a packet of magic with you when you travel! For a few cents per plant, you can infuse the soil with live microbial helpers (mycorrhizae) that will keep on giving. Read more about the magic.

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About Christiane Marshall

Christiane Marshall is a freelance writer/copywriter and special education teacher living on 173 acres in Southeast Ohio. She is a minister's wife, mother of five grown children and a grandmother of one new baby girl. Christiane specializes in copywriting but also enjoys writing articles on many subjects including organic gardening, education, special education and advocacy, faith, travel, and animal rescue.
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