Eastman: Why We Do What We Do

What is it about gardening and plants that really gets us excited? What keeps us coming back year after year, toiling in the sun and rain, fighting pests, cursing weeds, and more? Maybe we want to have a serene environment to come home to every day. Maybe bringing new life and beauty to a piece of soil that once was bare inspires us. Maybe we’re challenged to directly participate in the seasonal cycles of nature. We all have our reasons.

I strongly believe that anyone who says they are motivated by only one thing is fooling himself or herself, or is painfully out of touch with reality. The motivation that pushes me to work in my garden after a full day at the Nursery is not based on one single desire, but a combination of at least two urges.

First of all, I absolutely love the fruits of my labor, and in no part of my life can I take this so literally as in my garden. I have never tasted a tomato as luscious as the one I pick fresh from the vine that I have worked so hard to grow. A flower never smells as sweet as the one I have planted and cared for.

Secondly, my garden and yard is where I feel most confident expressing myself and, in a subtle way, defining my own individuality. I don’t want to plant the same tree that everyone else on my block has. I don’t want to grow the same tomato I can go buy in the store. I want to grow the plant that makes people say “ooh, how cool!” For me, this means planting the Red Brioti horse chestnut. It means growing Black Krim tomatoes and Korean Spice viburnum.

When each of us is able to understand why something gives us pleasure, we have the opportunity to focus our energy for maximum enjoyment. I like to see, smell, feel, and eat the weird things I grow. What makes you happy?

Jesse Eastman, Owner and General Manager

Originally published on April 29th, 2011.