Beginner gardening workshop on Saturday at PLAS – The Troy Messenger

Self-proclaimed “plant killers” are invited and encouraged to attend a Saturday Beginners Gardening Workshop in the Pike School of Liberal Arts Cafeteria from 9-11:30 a.m.

“The workshop is a turning point for us – plant killers – to ask a friend who knows a little more to mentor us to grow together in amazing ways,” said Kitty Amanda Smothers, originator of the Dead Plant Society. “It’s about community, relationships, families and friends.

Smothers said there was a growing desire to return to “our roots – our first beginnings” where we grew our own food. Being in an area rich in farms, many of us have stories of helping out in grandma’s garden, but unfortunately there has been a disconnect over the past few generations as many of us have left our gardens to start working in the business world.

When COVID-19 hit, Smothers said the world seemed to freeze in place and multitudes of people were quarantined at home.

“As our eyes turned to our homes and our hearts focused more intensely on the health of our families, the importance of home as a sanctuary and health as a beautiful gift was more evident,” said she declared. “People have turned to gardening to experience freedom as lockdowns and concerns over job loss, exposure and hiding began to grow increasingly suffocating. Food shortages make the issue even more pressing. Gardening relieves stress. Watching things grow creates excitement and a sweet distraction from the chaos around the world. The flowers are happy. Flowers bring hope. Growing food is healthy. It feels good and benefits emotional, physical, mental, spiritual and environmental health. Planting things is something we can do with our own hands to improve the world around us.

Smothers’ gardening story began when her husband John was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in March 2021.

“Gardening became a way of coping, of focusing on something that was about life, not cancer, not death,” she said. John underwent surgery first, then six months of chemotherapy, which meant that our spring and summer were going to be spent with him mostly in bed.

Smothers was faced with a choice. She could sit there and worry or she could do something productive.

“So I dug two huge flowerbeds in front of my house,” she said. “We built the house 12 years ago and we didn’t have a single plant in the yard. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I kept studying, watching YouTube tutorials, and moving forward, digging, and praying for God to heal my husband. The flowerbeds ended up looking beautiful. . . for a while, until I drowned all my lavender in red clay from overwatering and poor drainage. I had to take everything apart and start over. I learned a lot about flowers last year and this year I started my first vegetable garden. It’s so exciting to see the daily changes happening to flowers and plants.

John was declared cancer free in November. And I’m still in the garden talking to God. Be grateful. It is a special place to spend time with the Creator.

start with the basics and finish the workshop with free seeds, plants and garden items. No registration is required; Just show up ready to learn and bring a friend!

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