The husband and I hunkered down this weekend and ordered our garden seeds. Fourteen gorgeous packets — ranging from bush beans to rose finns to radishes — should arrive from High Mowing Seeds in two or three weeks. Seemed like a perfect time to revisit the reasons we do this …

dinnerbysusan

When we moved to Maryland 10 years ago, our family took possession of a 1970s split-level on a huge corner lot. The previous owners had planted perennial garden borders around the house and the backyard fence. Unfortunately, no one had maintained those borders in over 10 years. The background strip, in particular, had deteriorated to a couple of scraggly azalea bushes and wide swaths of weeds.

One spring day, my New Jersey-born and -bred husband, who had never shown any green-thumb tendencies, went out back and planted a few zucchini seeds. During the next few months, he and I and our tiny boys watched in amazement as three zucchini plants unfurled. Their fan-shaped leaves and thick arms rose along the fence, causing quite a bit of consternation from the ornamental gardener next door. We soon began harvesting zucchini regularly (and taking loaves of homemade bread to the ornamental gardener as…

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