Down To Earth: Small Space, Big Challenge


| August/September 1994


"I can't grow a garden. I live in town and don’t have the space.”

People are always telling me this, but I seldom respond. I would like to say, “Don’t make excuses. If you don’t like to garden, don’t, but if you love growing herbs and flowers, find a way.” I think of my friend Donnie.

Donnie loves to grow things and doesn’t let a lack of space stand in his way. Several years ago, he moved from a rural area into Memphis. He bought a neat little house on a minuscule lot in a quiet older neighborhood. The front lawn could be mowed in five minutes. Next to the house were ancient, ailing azaleas and a few neglected junipers, but nothing else grew there.

He believed there were better ways to spend his time than mowing a front yard. “Life’s too valuable,” he said.



After moving in and getting settled, Donnie’s first project was to rip everything out of the front yard. He chained his pickup truck to the azaleas and junipers and yanked them from the ground, horrifying at least one set of neighbors, elderly twin sisters.

“They marched across the street and stood on the sidewalk with their hands on their hips,” Donnie remembers.







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