Andy Young says he’s not a control freak. “Or maybe I am,” he contends. The owner of Midtown’s Pearl River Glass Studio explains he’s in control of the destiny of one thing for sure: his garden. And Saturday March 30, he’ll teach his neighbors how to tame the wild things growing in their yards with a gardening seminar at his home.
This weekend’s free ‘come-and-go’ event, from 9am to noon at 3412 Galloway Avenue, is Young’s chance to share what he has learned from friends over the years. “Many times, people walk by, young couples pushing a stroller, saying ‘I wish I could garden,’” he tells. “There are certain principles that, once you learn them, make gardening easy. You start small and work your way up.” Topics like soil preparation, composting and plant selection will be covered. Young says Saturday’s seminar is a chance to give back. “I wanted to offer something to Fondren neighbors, kind of a demo to see that it is possible.”
Young says many people assume you need a large plot or a field to be a successful gardener, but that’s not the case. “I don’t have to have acre,” he says. “I’m growing out of my front yard. There are many rewards that come from it.”
Also on the day, Young will welcome neighbor and renowned gardener Felder Rushing who has promised to stop by and share a bit of his own green thumb wisdom. And, Young will offer ornamentals for sale. “Ornamental gardening is where I started,” he explains. Mexican petunias, Chinese parasol trees and Agave Americana plants will be available. And, Young will bring yard birds from Pearl River Glass.
The 60 year-old Fondrenite moved here five years ago after discovering an apartment on Craig’s List and soon transformed his side yard into his food source. “When I was in college, I realized early on, if I was going to eat, I had to learn to cook,” he says. “And (to me), gardening is the same thing. I need to participate in some way.”
We’ll be looking for a dinner invitation: Young grows green beans, squash, zucchini, okra, tomatoes, carrots, onions, herbs and bell peppers among other veggies. His most rewarding growth may be cantaloupe. “Fresh cantaloupe,” he says, “is worth entire process. It’s just an amazing treat.”
For Young, gardening is therapy. It’s also an homage to friends and family present and past. “I learned a lot from Dan Overly, Joe and Mary Pritchard and my mom,” he says. And just as he thanks those who helped shape him, he feels the plants are likewise thankful. “Plants appreciate your endeavors to influence their lives.”