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  • Writer's picturestefana sardo

Gardening, it takes one time and you're hooked

Meet Jacqui Jackson, gardener extraordinaire. From her cozy wood deck, one has a view of raised garden beds that run along each side of her backyard. There are: raspberries, ginger, thyme, arugula (more than one kind), bay leaves, mustard greens, red lettuce, fennel, basil (again, more than one kind), zucchini, tomatoes, Asian long green beans, pole beans, eggplant, asparagus, garlic spears, lavender, celery, snap peas, chives, delicata squash, Greek oregano, horseradish, and for medicinal purposes there are lemon balm and marijuana. Oh, I almost left out the strawberry tower smack in the center of the lawn.

All it takes is one time and you’re hooked,” says Jacqui. At the age of 12, an ‘old’ lady (her words) who lived behind her mother’s house offered to teach Jacqui how to plant tomatoes on a narrow and uncultivated bare strip of land on the property border. Jacqui was-and is-an avid learner. In no time at all, not only did healthy tomatoes grow there were so many that Jacqui knocked on neighbors doors to share her surplus crop.

With a successful start, Jacqui nurtured her love of gardening through continuous learning-and all over again each time she moved. “Every time I moved,

I would have to relearn, so I would read a lot about gardening and start all over again.” (Jacqui moved from Texas to Florida, then to Oregon).

It is a circle of life. Jacqui takes every opportunity to share her love of gardening with others. In addition to passing her passion of gardening to her two sons, Jacqui taught young school age students, neighbors and strangers. Today, Jacqui is now the ‘old’ lady and helps neighbors with garden tips. “I get calls from people asking all kinds of questions about gardening.”

Gardening might be her first love but Jacqui also gives in other ways too: she is a volunteer with Hollywood Senior Center and has been providing critical support to Che Figata! fashion shows for the past two years.

If you need gardening advice, just let me know and I will put you in touch with Jacqui. Just note, her voicemail indicates that she is in the garden so don’t expect a return call anytime soon.

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