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1: Mary “Maggie” Tubilleja

They gave me my grandmother’s name. And my other grandmother’s name, as they were both named Mary. Meant to be, right? I loved my grandmothers but turns out I didn’t love their name. Call me Maggie, please. My favorite place as a child in western NC was in the woods, playing with the plants, mostly climbing the rhododendron or playing landscape designer to the ants, which is how I learned that poison ivy is not a landscape plant!

My path to Raleigh led through Kentucky, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Las Vegas, then finally back to North Carolina where I tripped and fell into teaching students with visual impairments as my profession.

As the perpetual new kid in high school, I learned friends don’t just drop into your lap. You have to seek them out, make opportunities, find what you have in common. Starting Garner Grows Community Garden was an entirely selfish act on my part, an effort to find my people, to find my tribe, and in that I was successful beyond my wildest dreams! I love growing things, of course, but coming to the garden is always more about fighting a natural tendency to wallow in my introversion and instead be out in the wild, learning and experiencing life, making things happen with my tribe. Although my introversion still sometimes wins, when you see me in the garden with some varied combination of my two grown children, Jade and Caitlin, and my husband William, know that I love you enough to continue fighting it.  

And if you want to know something technical about plants, that’s a Tammy question!