Something new sprouted this year at Today’s Homeowner – an office vegetable garden! This team project, headed by Danny’s wife, Sharon, brought the Mobile staff together for some old-fashioned collaboration with the promise of delicious food, which is always a good reason to get together in my book!

Raised bed office vegetable garden planted and growing
Raised bed office vegetable garden.

Thanks to all the know-how around the office, putting in the garden didn’t pose much of a challenge – a neat little 6’ x 10’ raised bed filled with a luxurious mix of rich topsoil, and a thoughtful selection of veggies soon sprang up outside the building. Heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash – my mouth waters just writing the words!

Full of promise, the garden commenced its first season. What a great way to bring people together! It’s the ultimate lesson in teamwork, and shared sweaty brows make friendships you just can’t forge in a staff meeting. With an “if you work, you eat” operating policy, the growing veggies promised a feast to tempt even the most reluctant gardeners to pitch in. The plants quickly took off in the rich soil, and you could watch them grow by the day.

Shared gardening – be it an office, family, or neighborhood – is a perfect way to encourage people to work together for the sake of health and happiness. It requires sharp minds, keen eyes, and strong hands – not necessarily all belonging to the same person!

Yellow squash plants and blooms.

Gardening teaches us that everyone has something to offer, as we work hard together for something tangible and good. Progress is gradual, but isn’t it exciting to watch the little space fill up with healthy plants?

This is a garden that was done right. Well planned, thoughtfully executed, and properly tended by a team of people used to paying attention to details. But unfortunately, gardening is also a lesson in patience as well as a learning experience.

Mother Nature delivered a rocky growing season, blasting the little garden with early heat, then dousing it with torrential spring rains that invited a host of problems that would test even the most experienced gardener.

Between the weather and a bout of bacterial wilt that decimated the tomato plants, the little office vegetable garden has suffered more than its share of hardship. The tomatoes had to be pulled out to control the wilt disease, and the other plants are hanging in there, but struggling to survive the harsh, Southern summer.

Tomatoes showed promise before wilt.

Such challenges are par for the course in Deep South gardens, and the little office veggie garden will be ready for another round once the temperatures ease off in the fall. On the Gulf Coast, cool-season vegetables can be grown well into (and in mild years, all the way through) the winter.

The challenges just add a healthy dose of problem-solving to the mix, requiring everyone to . . . I can’t resist saying it . . . think outside the box!

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Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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