My gardening experiences range from the Australian outback to the prairies of Kansas. I grew up in subtropical Sydney with grandparents who lived on the edge of the Outback in Narrabri, NSW. In 1978 at age 13 my family moved to Lenexa, a suburb of Kansas City.
I was terribly distressed on how I could learn to garden with a climate of such extremes. Up until moving here, I hadn’t even seen snow before. But my solace was to be found with the host of a new PBS show named Crockett’s Victory Garden which was a precursor of today’s Victory Garden. Between Jim Crockett’s books and appearances on the show, I did learn how to grow flowers and veggies and his lessons became my springboard to learn so much more.
I’m a proud graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in Agricultural Economics & Marketing. I spent 15 years in the advertising business with both agricultural and horticultural clients. My horticulture clients included PanAmerican Seed (Breeders of Super Elfin Impatiens and Vinca Coolers) and Ball Seed (Madness Petunias). My agricultural clients included Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and John Deere Credit.
While working as a GE Global Marketing Communications Leader in 2001, a rare type of tumor in my spinal chord ruptured rendering me a quadriplegic. But praise God I have a functioning right hand! However, much to my despair, I could no longer have a professional career and retired at only 37.
Today, fate would have me living at Trinity Nursing & Rehab in Merriam, KS. But it’s a great place with a staff that now includes some of my best friends. While I lost my own beloved garden, today I have my own grounds here at Trinity. We have two large patio areas and 14, yes 14 windowboxes. The boxes are kept in primo shape by the Todd The Bus Driver who praise God (Again!) is a gardener. I’ve replaced two old tired daylily beds with all new donated hybrids and planning to plant trees on the property. In 2014, I’ll supervise the installation of new landscaping as part of a $3MM million renovation at Trinity.
I’m an former Johnson County Extension Master Gardener with Kansas State University. I have written a monthly column on outstanding plants in the Kansas City Gardener for seven years now. And I make a concerted effort to make this blog fresh, entertaining, informative and relevant. My gardening efforts are enabled by a close group of friends and family.While there are a lot of gardening things I can’t do, there is the upside of avoiding weeding and watering! Life has been pretty complicated of late but I can’t wait to see what blooms for me tomorrow. Why don’t you join me here on this journey at patricksgarden.com?
For more of my past journey see: