I spend hours in my garden every spring and summer because it makes me happy. Caring for existing plants, mowing my grass, clearing weeds, establishing new beds and especially cultivating new plants isn’t simply a hobby for me. I connect to my property and my community through these patches of soil. In my neighborhood we share wheelbarrows, tillers, hand tools and even lawnmowers if my neighbor can’t get hers started. Most important to me, if someone needs help I share my time. I listen to older neighbors’ tips and wisdom. I help young families establish their own new gardens. When I visit my local nursery I feel bonded to everyone I see because I know we are all planting into the same earth. I took a few deep breaths and looked across my lawn this morning-rows of vegetables just sprouting from the soil, patches of herbs, beds of brilliantly colored flowers around deeply rooted evergreens. Every garden is unique. Every gardener faces challenges but all of us are growing together.