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Gardening for the good of family

Danielle Smith is a former award-winning television news anchor and reporter turned digital correspondent, host, spokesperson, media trainer, lover of all things video and public s

Gardening beautifies a space, but it does much more; it grows family togetherness.

I have never had a green thumb.

From the time that I began my adult journey, I have desperately wanted to brighten up my space with plants and flowers... filling corners and windowsills with the most beautiful pots and plants, only to watch their beauty fade as I failed them.

Again and again.

I could read the directions, spend time Googling and troubleshooting and still there seemed to be something in me that couldn't quite mesh with this "green." Until recently.

I decided that growing, and even gardening, needed to mean more. Certainly gardening beautifies a space, but there was so much more... the deeper lessons that my small people and I would grow together, how we could learn (and potentially fail), the joy of growing food for our family that would go from garden to table, the added health benefits of additional fruits and vegetables in our diets (some that the small people had been previously unwilling to try) and finally how we grow together when we get to spend that time with each other.

We opted to grow our garden in pots on our back deck. This made it easy to plant and care for what we were planting... herbs, vegetables and fruit.

Let's be honest. I don't love vegetables. I never have. And I can safely say that I have passed that trait on to my small people. But, we decided to choose what we were planting together: tomatoes (something I have never liked, but hoped my palate would accept from my own garden), cucumbers, peppers, strawberries, lavender, basil and rosemary.

The small people were extremely skeptical about the vegetables, but thrilled by the prospect of popping out on to the back deck to find strawberries. The herbs? Well, those were just for me. I feared that I would be the only one watering, the only one giddy as flowers from the cucumbers bloomed and then grew, the only one who couldn't stop talking about the vegetables and herbs I was using in each meal, but I'm not.

I often come downstairs early in the morning to see Delaney and Cooper with a watering can in their hands... or have to stop in the middle of what I'm doing so they can drag me outside to show me how something is growing; the tomatoes, the cucumbers or the peppers.

The most amazing thing? It is working. I'm growing small people who are falling in love with gardening. I'm not going to tell you I have suddenly developed a green thumb after all these years, but knowing that I am growing family time, healthy eating and yes, even a small potted garden, is bringing me joy... and encouraging me to expand. Maybe I can try blueberries? Raspberries (my small girl's favorite)? Who knows what's next.

We are "Gro-ing Something Greater" along with Scotts Miracle-Gro... and I would love to know what you grow, creatively, with family, with learning, when you decide to plant and grow flowers, fruits and vegetables. I know I still have so much to learn and so much I can still teach my small gardeners. You can join the Miracle Gro's"Gro Something Greater" conversation on Twitter, on Facebook and with beautiful images on Pinterest.

Thank you to Scotts Miracle-Gro for sponsoring this conversation. As always, all thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.

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