Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Meet Our Community: Teresa Speight, writer, podcaster, visionary

 


Let's get to know each other!


Since we're not able to meet up in person this year, let's meet online. Every week we're introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We're excited to see what everyone's talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you'd like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)


Teresa (Teri) Speight



Chiswick Garden in London
I write about embracing nature and finding joy in the garden. I live in District Heights, Maryland, and I’m a proud native Washingtonian. I share my unique experiences on my blog, Cottage In the Court, to show others in all walks of life that there is beauty out there, and it is reachable. There’s nothing like seeing a bumblebee party on a vitex, or a mountain mint humming with life from the pollinators dancing amidst the blooms. As an estate gardener - like Beatrix Farrand, except I do not have a rich aunt who can pay for my travels and education - I love to identify the perfect places where a homeowner can see the life in his or her gardens. I believe in xeric gardens and using environmentally friendly practices to maintain beautifully natural garden spaces.

I’m passionate about elevating the voices of the African American community because #wegrowmorethancollards. I am compiling the stories of African American garden clubs in the U.S., although I’m having a difficult time identifying them. But it would be nice to hear the stories before they are gone forever. I also have a podcast, where I introduce people we should know in horticulture. There are so many people I want to meet!

Dahlias at the Tuileries in Paris
I love to share seeds, seedlings, and plants in my community. As a former Founding Farmer of a CSA, I believe in empowering people to garden, even if you don’t have tools, seeds, or plants. By creating an online conversation with new and seasoned gardeners in my community, we have shared hints, tips, and plants. It makes me smile when those who feel they can't do something realize they actually can!

I grew up loving hydrangeas, and even when visiting my extended family down South, hydrangeas were part of my familiar. Peony is my favorite though because it’s only in the garden for a brief time. Embracing the bloom is part of why I love them. The scent, the ruffles - it all says "Oh So Girly" to me. I am a girl who loves to play in the dirt in my pearls, because why not?

I travel anywhere I can go on a shoestring to see diverse landscapes around the world. My favorite garden is the Tuileries in Paris. The diversity of plant material is amazing. To see people read and play chess there, or simply watch children feeding the pigeons, it centers me and makes me feel at home. It’s a garden that is alive in every sense of the word.


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Thanks for sharing your work and your gardening passions with us, Teri! You can follow Teri at Cottage In the Court, on Instagram, and on Twitter.

Photographs courtesy of Teresa Speight.

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