Maggie Oster

Upper South Editor

Maggie Oster
Borden, IN

I love garden structures such as this pergola.

There's nothing more beautiful than a white garden in the early evening.

Ornamental grasses provide a good contrast to my blue fence.

It's pea picking time and this year's crop is ready.

Maggie is trying to prove that you can happily go home again. On the 115-acre farm she grew up on in southern Indiana, Maggie is tending and expanding the garden her family has maintained since the 1940s. Maggie is always ready to rise to a challenge, and her gardening, like her life, is a work-in-progress.

Maggie believes that gardening was instilled in her in the womb. Her mother was planting cabbages the night before she was born, and soon after her birth, she was kept in a basket at the end of a row as her mother picked strawberries. Although her mother's garden produced lots of vegetables and fruits, there was always time for flowers. Maggie's mom, Lucille, had large collections of daffodils, daylilies, and hundreds of other flower varieties, including ones she had grown since her childhood. Maggie's father helped in all areas of the garden, but his specialty was roses.

With Maggie's efforts, both the farm and garden are evolving. Surrounding the kitchen garden area there's a blue-painted picket fence with bright pink and yellow finials. Borders of flowers, fruits, vines, and shrubs surround the fence and nine symmetrical 7-foot-square beds. A path down one side, with steel arbors covered with flowering vines, leads to a cedar arbor and sitting area next to a colorful fountain. Maggie also loves herbs and grows many different varieties each year.

There are lots of other garden areas on the farm, including an all-white garden, an orchard, and collections of native plants. All these gardens leave Maggie wondering how some people achieve carefully edged, weed-free gardens. For her, there are never enough hours in the day.


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