It’s National Gardening Day which means it’s the perfect day to share some of my favorite black gardeners on Instagram. Why black gardeners? I follow gardeners of all backgrounds but one of my goals as a gardener is to establish a community garden right in our community. Our community is predominantly black. My children are black and if nothing else I want them to grow up with a love for mother nature, the Earth and yes growing their own food and flowers. I want them to know that yes black people grow food and flowers and run farms just like our ancestors did. I want them to know that growing food matters. And as descendants of both butchers and farmers in Jamaica, continuing this legacy is important to me. I want all children to see gardeners and farmers that look like them and that they are welcomed in this food space. And I hope to inspire other black moms to start gardens big or small and to carry on this legacy in their own families. So here are my favorite black gardeners on Instagram.
Natasha is the Master Gardener and brainchild behind the not for profit We Sow We Grow in Chicago Illinois. What I love about this community is that the farm is an urban farm. It’s open to the community to learn, grow and harvest. Natasha shares her knowledge through videos and Q&A sessions. She also runs an active Facebook community free for other gardeners to join no matter their experience.
Mimi is the Queen of Keeping House & Staying Fly. She takes that same energy out to her garden aka The Glam Garden. I remember when Mimi started her garden. What I love is how much she’s grown and incorporated the beauty of her garden story. You can find her hubby Big A making garden appearances. In other words, helping out his boo. They are hilarious. Catch up with her garden tales in her IG stories and on her feed.
I could seriously write an entire post about Tam. She is a gem. Sweet, kind, knowledgeable and all around Garden Fairy Godmother. Not only is her garden beautiful (hello brick garden beds) but how much she grows in the space she has is just amazing. I can’t get enough. You can always find great tips and real life moments in Tam’s garden stories. She also works with a community garden and started coaching a group of nurses new to gardening. There progress is amazing. I love Tam’s “give back” energy.
If you want to grow food and flowers in your garden, Brandy is your girl. A walk through her garden is like visiting a botanical garden. The details and the beauty from her pots, to her inground and raised beds. Plus the beautiful trees and plentiful harvest. I watch Brandy’s stories like I watch my favorite gardening shows. Brandy offers coaching services and if I were a new gardener, I wouldn’t hesitate to hire her. Actually, I’d hire her regardless because I’m new to growing flowers and hers take my breath away.
When I need to see and feel Jamaica in my bones, I check in with some beautiful people on the gram. Roxanne's garden brings me right back to climbing the almond tree in my uncle's front yard. It brings me back to endless mangoes and cane. I can hear the sounds and smell the fields. In my later years a garden not far from the beach in JA will be mine. Until then, enjoy Roxanne's adventures.
Now Shavonda is my go to for interior design and real life moments on IG. She started working on her potager garden last year and it is swoon worthy. Shavonda is not new to gardening but watching her build out this dream garden never gets old. She just got her baby chickens friends. Go watch her garden unfold. Another thing, some of my favorite gardeners overall live in California. Their gardens remind me of Jamaica. I need that hot summer Mediterranean climate in my life.
Chene is a long time gardener that keeps it simple. I love when her garden pops up in my feed. She has the patience of a saint when it comes to square foot gardening. Chene also has a dope DIY compost bin I’m planning on adding to my own garden. Checkout her garden highlight to see what she's growing this year.
My girl Sheena was meant to be an island girl. You can’t convince me otherwise. Sheena is a container gardener. I still can’t get over the watermelons she grew last year in one of her containers. I loved them so much she actually sent me some seeds so I can grow my own. Sheena is the perfect example of growing a garden in what you have in the space you have. I recommend her to all of my inner city friends for garden inspiration. She is up in Chicago so look for her to start up her container garden real soon.
Siri is another one of California urban garden friends. Beautiful flowers, amazing vegetables and a podcast too. Recently I asked her about her tree collards because to me they are the garden gift that keeps on giving. She offered to send me a cutting from it. I mean come on friends! A giving garden is my goal. I grow plants from seed and share cuttings from my garden all the time. Siri speaks my language.
I can’t remember who shared Ashlie with me but I am hooked. Her garden is beautiful and screams come visit me. Ashlie and her husband built all the beds in their garden. Friends, they have octagon shaped beds. Swoon! But the latest addition to their garden is such a thing of beauty you have to see it for yourself. It’s the She Shed of dreams. You have to see it. Her harvests are plentiful and there are lots of details all about their growing season included.
Princess is growing a mini farm, orchard included in her garden. The medicinal herbs and tea plants are enough to make me want to pull up conversation over a cup of goodness. Princess also shares her yoga and meditation practice. Her feed is a great way to show how a busy mom practices self care and incorporates her garden in the process.
Mimi introduced me to Maya’s space and I’m glad she did. She calls herself a novice but she is a fourth generation gardener. One thing that drew me to Maya is what she says in her bio “gardening as therapy”. This is it. Trust me when I say gardening is work but like therapy it heals parts of you you didn’t think could ever mend. I feel these words so deep in my soul. Even a few plants have the power to shift your energy each day.
I follow a few male gardeners which I’ll be sure to add to the list but Odyssey is my first dad you need to follow in this space. He is literally turning his land into a food forest. The man cans fruit and vegetables, raises chickens. And he shares his son in all the adventures. Odyssey gets my props for being a black dad in this space.
Another plug from Mimi, Sherry is growing a beautiful edible garden in none other than her small backyard. I’ve never seen more beautiful turnips in my life. But you know what else? She’s a cowgirl y’all! I love horses and cowboys but seeing this black woman own that cowgirl crown is just epic. I grew up in Brooklyn. The Black Cowboys of Brooklyn are a thing. This city girl wants to be a cowgirl even for just 1 day. She just started her YouTube channel about her garden. I love the short progress videos on specific plants. They let you know this gardening life is doable. Start small and continue to grow.
Fellow island girl Moya is the plant rescuer and whisperer. I fancy myself a plant rescuer but what Moya does for the plants she finds will blow you away. I can’t wait to see what new hydrangeas she rescues this season. She had a hydrangea Christmas tree. I mean come on! Her flower garden plus her chickens just make me smile. She has a great YouTube channel with tips, plant rescue missions and beautiful garden tours.
There is so much to love about Anuella’s garden but what brings me to her is her community garden movement. You can see just how she took her passion from a dream to manifestation with the school garden she helped to open. The urban garden for all is where my heart will always be. Seeing her and Roderick of Revolutionary Garden bring this to reality is motivational. I’m here for the growing of gardens one public school at a time.
I found Roderick via Anuella’s and their amazing partnership to bring a public school garden to life. Take a tour around his feed to see the beautiful raised beds and gardens he builds. You will get an up close and personal look at some of his own plants in the process. He is passionate about growing food without chemicals and pesticides. His feed reminds me so much of the backdrop of Jamaica, green, lush and generous.
I saw a write on Jamiah and his #cropswap movement awhile back. What started out as crops to share from his own garden turned into a community movement. It can be as simple as that friends. Grow food, connect with other growers and then share. Checkout all that has happened since Jamiah started. Black Super Dad is the perfect name and is exactly why this list is important. The super dads, moms, aunts and friends growing gardens and teaching the next generation.
That’s me. I’d like to think I’m a gardener you will love to get to know. You can find me working clay soil so that it will give life to fruits, flowers and vegetables. I have raised beds but I am a lover of in-ground beds so I spent time cultivating this land for that purpose. I am a believer in gardening for everyone including kids. My kids are in on my gardening team #tinygardenerlove. I grow plants for us and plants to give. If there is one legacy I wish to leave behind it’s that “love grows here” in our garden, in our community and in our home.
There are many more black gardeners on Instagram including some pretty big accounts that share gardens and ideas from their own followers. I hope this post as it is now shows you that regardless of the size of your land or your follower count, if starting a garden is on your to do list, you can do it. Start where you are, grow what you like and do it with love.
I know this list will continue to grow so if you have a favorite black gardener you think we should all get to know, please leave their info in the comments. I hope you have been inspired to start your own gardens of love.