by Bess Lovec
This common thread runs through just about every gardener I meet- their first introduction to gardening was through family. Cindy is no exception, and, as is also often the case, it was her mother. She helped her mom and grandmother grow vegetables while growing up in Dickinson, ND, although her mom later grew to adore flowers.
Cindy represents another great source of information for our gardening community. She usually starts her plants from seed, and watching them pop up in spring gives her lots of joy. Another positive she discovers through gardening is sharing ideas with people, especially the network via the MG program. The water lilies in her pond were inspired by Elaine Allard, for example. She winters them and many other plants in her garage. Her range of gardening activities – wow! Cindy uses raised beds and has grown to specialize in flowering perennials, especially hardy hibiscus and delphinium. She has limited her gardening activities, though, by taking out fruit trees, and the lawn remains her husband’s turf.
One of her favorite learning aspects of the MG program was discovering the “awesome” Special K Ranch. They have a large operation, and even sell tomatoes to Albertsons, one of those little known facts about how our community is affected by local gardening.
Cindy has been with Valley Credit Union for 37 years, serving as the Chief Risk Officer. Gardening functions as her stress buster, supplying a radical contrast to her work, although her full-time position prevents her from being frequently involved with MG. Nonetheless, she belongs to a Bonsai Society which meets monthly at a garden center in the Heights.
As a true gardener, she tries something new every year, this year being non-GMO foxglove. She doesn’t give up easily, either. Her heroic attempt to hatch praying mantises initially failed, but she is going to give that another whirl. The challenges of gardening here, from her perspective, the shorter season and lack of enough sunlight, only fuel her fury to succeed. Also she works to find the right amount of iron to compensate for deficiency in maple trees. Her advice to those new to gardening? Patience and avoid over-watering.
As she continues to mature as a gardener, Cindy is noticing more frequently the connections among animals and her yard. Her crab apple trees feed cedar wax wing birds, while the deer prefer water from the pond and the bird seed intended for birds. Hummingbirds frequent her yard for a few weeks every summer, entertaining Cindy. I hope you have a chance to meet her during our growing season!