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Black Women Gardening: Connecting the Land with Our Heritage in the South

Black Women Gardening: Connecting the Land with Our Heritage in the South

The beautiful colorful flowers, white bright dogwood trees leading into your entrance way, and the yellow neon pollen that filled your front porches are some spring attributes that many of us, Black Southern Belles, have experienced in the South; especially in South Carolina. This time of the year is known for the natural beauty and amazing yard work that we create and put on display, therefore, today I am going to feature African American gardeners and tips to get your spring garden started. 

African American Gardeners From the South

Many individuals are paving the way; or have paved the way, for the beauty of nature in our community. Many of these individuals have normalized the love Black Southern Belles have for their garden and the way in which we garden and prepare for each season. Below are 3 gardenerettes who are expressing their love for plant life and gardening. 

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Jeanette Bell 

This New Orleans native has been gardening for over 40 years and is known for her ability to grow all of her flowers organically with no pesticides. As the owner of the Fleur d’Eden ,  in New Orleans, LA, Bell was inspired to start the garden despite the first being just an abandoned lot. Now the garden is as vibrant as ever. Filled with over 100 rose varieties, and dozens of specialty flowers and fresh herbs, Jeanette Belle is continuing her love for gardening and maintaining plants for our purchase. 

Ashlie Thomas 

Black Southern Belle, Ashlie Thomas, who can be found on IG @The Mocha Gardener, is an organic grower based in North Carolina. With a she-shed close by and greenhouse serving as home to some of her plants, and a beautiful outdoor garden, Ashlie Thomas is the perfect example of a gardener who truly loves gardening. Thomas doesn’t keep her gardening secrets to herself, feel free to check out her youtube page for more gardening  advice or he instagram to see her empowerment through growing food. 

Thomasena Hoefer-laudmon

Based in South Carolina, Thomasena Hoefer-laudmon, is a member of FarmaSis and takes pride in gardening to help her community. Being within the group FarmaSis, she has learned more about greenhouse gardening and the unexplainable relationship between a seed and its soil. On IG, @hoeferlaudmon shares her journey as a member of this group that encourages gardening and showcases the hard work it takes for Black Southern Belles to garden. 

Besides these three gardeners from the South, it is important to have a few tips to help you better prepare for this Spring season. Check out our tips to help you get started!

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Tips For Starting Your Spring Gardening Journey

  1.  Plan Ahead

The changing of the seasons requires us to alter many things especially going from winter to spring. Think about the time it will take to clean up the fall leaves, add new mulch, and organize your garden bed in a cohesive way this spring. Go step by step to do detail your spring cleaning to get your perfect Spring garden.

  1. Cut & Remove

Pull out your pruners and get to work Black Southern Belles! Remove any dead, loose, or

infected branches or stems and also pull and remove weeds from the garden area or close to

home. Remember that in order to grow plants properly it is important to cut at the correct distance, prune to an outward-facing bud, and improve air circulation. 

  1. A Strong Foundation is Key

Since we will be putting out our  new plants including veggies or vibrant color flowers,

adding stakes and fencing for the garden bed may come in handy. Adding support and protection like these items will ensure your garden stays safe from animals attempting to eat on the fresh produce and also ensure that the plants are growing up and out. 

  1. Your Garden is a Reflection of You

With our Southern style our garden should be very much a replica of us. Imagine garden beds surrounded by rocks or plant holders that include old vases, tires, or mason jars; sounds ideal for a Black Southern Belle right? Black gardeners are known for their creativity and ability to make use of old items in a new way. 

Gardening isn’t easy, however, we hope that these tips and highlights of successful gardenerettes provide you with some ways to get your spring garden started. Once you get your garden started, share your beginning masterpiece with us. 

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