My garden is more of an indoor, er, shelf, at the moment, but it has grow lights on a schedule controlled by the Amazon Echo and there are herbs and everything! I was once an outdoor gardener, back when I owned land. I will again, but for now, I have the patio and the kitchen shelf.

I like to grow simple things like herbs which are okay for my cats to nibble on. I even grow cat grass for them. Aurora really likes that.

When I grow things outside, I also like unassuming plants that “bloom their heads off,” as the garden mags like to describe it. My ex-husband and I once created this rolling grow cabinet with three shelves that could each hold a couple flats of seedlings, and fluorescent grow lights were suspended on chains above each row to keep the distance optimal for the emerging seedlings. I ordered seeds in February and had six flats of plants ready by April 15 in our Tulsa, Oklahoma garden. We would take a week off just to garden. A month or two later, the flowerbed was a riot of color. Why did I do it? It was so fun to see those little green sprouts become what they were meant to become. Amazing, really.

Monarch butterfly on one of my Mexican Sunflowers (tithonia), May 1997.

Favorites are zinnias and sunflowers, but there are so many good ones, it’s hard not to go on and on about it. I like the smell and the feel of the plants. When I garden, I am practicing good intentions that my actions then realize. That’s why gardening makes us happy.

(photo: Courtesy Paul James)

There was a guy on HGTV, Paul James “The Gardener Guy,” who was actually from Tulsa, and I got to meet him once. He was goofy and made me love all plants and the dirt they grow in.