A few months ago I read an article in Organic Gardening titled: “Barefoot in the Garden.” Next to the title was an adorable illustration of two bare feet amid the flowers. I saved the article for last and while reading it brought to mind my desire for barefoot gardening.
This idea of wandering through ones garden with their toes in the soil is a dream I have secretly sought after. I’m not sure when it began, but the more gardeners I find doing it, the more I want to do it too! Last year I read a book about Tasha Tudor’s garden and of all the things I loved about her way of gardening is the fact that even at ninety she still worked in the garden barefoot. I imagined myself walking around with a basket of tulip bulbs and a trowel with newly fallen leaves under my feet.
At this point I thought it was just a coincidence that Tasha and I shared the same strange need to feel the earth, but I found someone from my local town who loved it too. I was at a fellow gardener’s home giving advice and I noticed she gave her garden tour barefoot. Maybe I wasn’t so weird to have this yearning.
As a child I did play every now and again with no shoes, but my mother never liked it. My favorite thing was to walk through puddles (not a fan of splashing). Although, I never even thought of walking through my yard that way, for it was full of sandspurs. I had to suddenly chase after my dog once and I ended up pulling numerous “stickers” out of my feet. The only time I was able to frolic through a yard “sticker-free” was at my grandmother’s when I was ten. She had a large beautiful oak tree and the one time I was able to visit her in Bradenton, FL I spent hours alone just playing in the grass. Maybe that is when the dream took root.
In my garden today I am not at a place yet where I can perform this much loved tradition. For me I think walking barefoot in the garden means that I have reached a goal in my garden. When I close my eyes at night and dream of what my garden will be someday, I tend to have the same vision. The sun is setting, I have a glass of Moscato in my hand, and as I walk my feet feel the coolness of the dew on the grass.