Terri Howley and Addison Ransom are a mother-daughter duo who have made social distancing work for them by gardening together virtually. They each ordered Gardenuity’s Cocktail Garden kit and connect regularly via FaceTime to troubleshoot, check in on each other’s growth, and more.
Although Addison can’t go physically visit her mother in Austin, this weekend, they’ll have a Mother’s Day “Tea Party” — but with fresh cocktails made from their new garden harvests.
This week, we spoke to Addison (gardening newbie and self-reported black thumb) and Terri (an experienced gardener) to talk about their brilliant idea and the joy it’s brought them.
Q: So, tell me. Why did you begin this growing journey together?
A: So, when all of this quarantine began, I couldn’t go see my mom at all — she’s in Austin and I’m in Dallas. But we’re quite close, and we wanted to do a craft or something together that we could do together while staying apart — something that would keep us connected.
Q: How did you land on Gardenuity?
We looked at a lot of different things, but my mom used to garden a lot. I didn’t — I mostly just ate what she grew.
T: [Edible growing] is the only kind of gardening I’ll do. If i can’t eat it, I won’t grow it.
A: Right. So we looked at different types of local gardening — like urban gardening — and we found out about Gardenuity through my boss’s wife. Once we discovered the cocktail one, we were hooked.
Q: How do you connect with each other so you feel like you’re doing it together?
A: We FaceTimed when we put it all together — and I’m very glad because we were a hot mess (me a bit more than my mom) so it was fun to help each other.
T: It was fun; we were measuring distances with our hands on the camera so ours could be exactly the same.
Q: Terri, what’s your gardening experience like?
T: When I grew up, my mom’s parents were quite a bit older — they were born in the 1800s — so gardening and farming is all l they ever did. Every summer and every fall, my sister and I were on my grandparent’s farm. When I got older, I decided I’m done. Then I had my kids and immediately planted a raised garden.
Here in Texas, I’ve tried to grow my tomato plants because tomatoes just don’t taste the same unless they’re grown yourself. But I’m new to Texas and I’m trying to get used to Texas growing… It’s just not the same as Michigan.
Q: How is growing in a container for you, since you have all this experience in other ways?
T: It’s funny that you ask. I just told Addison while we were doing this, “If my grandmother were here, she would say, ‘What are you doing?!’” Container gardening is definitely different, but let me tell you: it’s way handy — let me tell you.
A: Yes, I’ve moved mine around a couple of times since we’ve planted.
T: I like that I can move it to the water source and back. *Laughs*
Q: Addison, what’s your growing experience like?
A: I used to try to grow on my own — my mom’s laughing because everything before this has failed — so I’m a little nervous. But I feel like I can’t mess this up. And we’re doing it together, so I just do whatever she does.
Q: So are you both in apartments or houses…?
A: My mom is in a house and I’m in a apartment — mine’s out on my patio. I live on the first floor, so I do have a little soil patch, but I tried de-weeding it and everything and it’s just not sustainable for life. *Laughs*
Q: Have you made any drinks yet?
A: Well, I don’t think the thyme is quite ready yet, but I made a vodka lemon thyme drink, and it was really good. On Mother’s Day, we’re going to do a tea party but with alcohol. *Laughs* So I’ve been trying different recipes for our cocktail garden.
Q: I can tell you have a pretty close relationship…but can you tell if and how this experience has added to your relationship?
T: I love this idea. It definitely gives our calls purpose.
A: Yes, I mean, it’s been hard being apart for so long — I’ve been in grad school and working, so I haven’t taken the time to go to Austin a lot and now I physically can’t. These gardens are something that we have in common — it’s a shared experience.
This Mother’s Day, celebrate your mom by growing with her. Get your Gardenuity container garden kit today.