Joe Lamp’l, (aka joe gardener®), has been hooked on horticulture since childhood. So, it’s no surprise he is now one of the country’s most trusted category experts and recognized personalities, in gardening and sustainability. Here he talks about his favorite garden.
Joe Lamp’l: My wife and I live on a suburban Atlanta five-acre farm, complete with a classic red barn, horses, chickens, goats and rabbits, the standard barn cats, and my beautiful organic raised-bed vegetable garden. As Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home!”
JL: When I’m home, I feel like I’m in the country, away from it all, which I love. But, when I need to get my Starbucks or make a Costco run, I’m only five minutes away. Living within the bustling metro area of Atlanta, I feel like I have the best of both worlds!
JL: My backyard IS my lifestyle. I’m much happier outside than in, and my garden and yard are my happy place. Any chance I have to connect with nature is an opportunity I don’t pass up. Creating that space in my backyard is heaven on earth. There’s no place that makes me happier!
JL: My 16 large, raised-bed vegetable garden is my pride and joy. It’s where I go to decompress, get inspired and stay amazed at just how awesome nature is. And, how fortunate I am to be able to have such a garden out my back door. It’s where I go to learn something new every day. And, it’s where I get to grow organic vegetables for my family and me. The best part: it’s bountiful enough that we have plenty to share with friends, neighbors and those in need.
JL: The changing season and diversity that comes with each is why I love getting outside as often as I can. It’s never boring and no two seasons—or days, for that matter—are the same. I never have to look far to discover something new. Every day is like that, and the changing seasons only enhance that experience.
JL: Just start. Don’t wait to start a garden until you think you have it figured out. Figure it out as you go! I’ve been gardening for decades now, and I’m still figuring it out, and I hope that never stops. The learning is the best part, and the best learning comes from doing, especially when you find those opportunities to learn from those experiences that didn’t quite work out as you planned. But the best part is, you at least got that far. A lot of people that want to create a garden never get around to it because they just don’t start. It’s such a missed opportunity for a life-changing experience.
JL: My raised-bed garden. For many years, I dreamed of having one. One day, I finally decided to make it happen. And, I did. While it wasn’t cheap, it’s paid for itself many times over in the joy I get, the opportunity to teach others from it, and, best of all, to grow enough food to share with so many who aren’t as fortunate. That alone makes it all worth it!
JL: I love a spring or fall afternoon in my garden the most. When the air is crisp, and the sky is bright. Walking the garden or landscape to see what’s new. And, discovering that there’s always something new. It makes me thankful to have such a place, and appreciate how amazing it is to be outside.
JL: I love growing tomatoes because they’re so challenging. You work so hard to get them to harvest. But, the reward of that fresh-from-the-garden, vine-ripe heirloom tomato. There’s NOTHING better!
JL: I love cooking seafood on the grill. I’m a big fish lover, but when you add that chargrilled flavor to a fresh piece of fish … Now, that’s a perfect combination!