Laura Miller

Laura Miller


Laura's passion for gardening germinated when she was a young child. Limited by the types of pets her parents would allow, Laura turned to nurturing plants as a way to interact with other living entities. From growing radishes in her own garden space to raising cactus from seeds, what began as an excuse to play in the dirt transformed into a lifelong hobby.

Much of Laura's early plant knowledge and gardening skill came from her parents. Each summer, her family grew a garden brimming with fresh vegetables. Laura fondly remembers the many mouthwatering recipes her mother would make using the vine-ripened tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, cabbage and Swiss chard from their home garden.

To this day, Laura grows these same vegetables as well as many others in her garden. Some of her favorite garden veggies include English peas, long-green frying peppers and bi-color corn. Her two-acre property is also home to several types of berries, a robust asparagus patch and several fruit trees.

Yet, it's her container fig trees which she cherishes the most. Grown from root cuttings, these figs trace back to trees which grew on her family's ancestral home in Italy. This has helped shaped Laura's view that plants can be a way of connecting with long-lost loved ones. Flowers, in particular, remind her of the matriarchs in her family tree.

Trumpet vines and snap dragons undoubtedly bring a smile to Laura's face as she remembers hot summer evenings spent on her grandmother's porch swing. During their bloom time, Laura loves to cut a few spikes of gladiolus to bring inside as a reminder of her mother.

Over the years, Laura has also shared her property with horses, domestic ducks and an ornery goat. Having these animals encouraged her to adopt organic lawn care methods and delve into large-scale composting of farm animal waste materials. Laura credits much of her gardening success to the compost which has amended the soil of both her vegetable garden and flower beds.

In addition to sharing her home with dogs, cats and a cockatoo, Laura has nearly 50 houseplants and container fruit trees which spend the winters indoors. She has experimented with indoor vegetable gardening and hopes someday she can reduce her dependence upon store-bought produce by growing her own veggies year round.

Laura still enjoys the challenge of raising cactus from seed. Even though she has been a gardener for most of her life and a homeowner for nearly four decades, Laura realizes there is still much to learn about plants. She has very much enjoyed sharing her gardening successes and failures with Gardening Know How readers.

Latest articles by Laura Miller