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Our editors are all homebodies, that's for certain. As resident lovers of all things home and design, they have tried a lot of home products in their day—and they're letting you in on their favorites. As part of our series, Happy at Home, our editors take the stage to share some of their personal favorite products in their homes and accompanying stories they carry.
On sunny afternoons in the summertime, I remember my dad throwing open the screen door, treading through the grass, and later returning with arms full of vegetables. Some casualties fell to the floor as he made his way to the sink to rinse them, laughing and chuckling at the excess of fruit he picked. Our fridge filled with thick cucumbers, tomatoes readily waiting to turn into sauce, and mounds of basil that perfumed with every opening of the refrigerator door. This process of turning homegrown vegetables into dinner was something I wanted in on—and thus began my early love for gardening.
Some hobbies are learned and chosen. I could have taken up crocheting, painting, something like that. But I'm a terrible artist, and what I am is a great plant parent. Every time someone gifted us with a halfway-wilted flower bouquet or a Christmas poinsettia, I found a way to maintain the beauty through extra attention when it should have faded weeks prior.
Eventually, I realized that the right hobby for me would need to be one with benefits. I wanted to give my undivided energy to something, help that something grow, and reap the rewards of my hard work. I decided that, through gardening, I would see real proof that my love and attention could produce something beautiful—like tomatoes, and lots of them.
Gardening was passed down from some notable family members: my Nonno on dad and mom's side, as well as my dad. Each of my grandfathers were dedicated to turning their yards into lush landscapes, complete with fruit trees and overarching trellises full of verdant vines. And though I don't yet have a home of my own, my dad has given me free rein over our small garden plot by the edge of our fence—12 feet of glorious potential where I till, dig, jump in fright at the sight of beetles, and pluck the fruits of my labor day in and day out through the days of the summer.
I decided that, through gardening, I would see real proof that my love and attention could produce something beautiful—like tomatoes, and lots of them.
With that said, I have several gardening essentials that I could not cultivate a successful garden without, from the supplies I use to start seeds to the various mediums in which I grow food—and I'm here to share the details. From those who are itching to start a garden or those who are seasoned pros, everyone can hopefully find some new products to try.
Scuddles Garden Tools Set
This is one of my favorite Christmas gifts I've ever received. It may seem unassuming, but this tote is a great place to store all my tools. They all reside in a convenient bag, which perfect for transporting those tools from the garden to the garage.
Wrexat Seed Starter Tray 10-Pack
A huge step in my gardening experience was attempting to start my own seeds rather than buying started plants from my local nursery. There are just so many varieties of vegetables to grow and try, which is why it is worth it to me to grow some fun, heirloom ones from seed. These are seed starting trays that I love and had success with. The dome on top helps to create a greenhouse-like environment for the seeds to ensure they are warm enough to germinate and grow into seedlings.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
These are my previously mentioned seeds of choice. I love ordering from Baker Creek: they specialize in rare and heirloom varieties, plus, they also carry the classic varieties that we all know and love. Because of Baker Creek, I had the chance to grow all kinds of beautiful tomatoes of every color and size that I typically would never find at my local nursery. Plus, they're affordable and ship for free—always a plus.
Magnolia Deadhead and Herb Mini Snippers
These were another adorable Christmas gift—I love all things Magnolia, so always happy to shop their site. I thought these herb mini snippers were just the cutest, and they are super practical for deadheading flowers and snipping your fruits and herbs off their vines without damaging your plants.
KHOMO GEAR Metal Raised Planter Box
This is an incredible investment for deck/small space gardening. First, it solves the problem of where to put tools, your garden shoes (all gardener have a designated pair), and other materials you need, as the bottom rack provides perfect storage. The top is the perfect place to plant smaller, container-friendly plants that will thrive all season long.