Hello From Holly–Digging Suburbia From Zone 7B

| Grow, Just for Fun

A note from Joe – Hi friends. Allow me to introduce Holly Mackle. She’ll be a regular around here for a long time. That’s my plan anyway. You see Holly is definitely a “joe gardener” kind of gal. She’s a young mother, a suburban gardener, and someone who is just trying to figure it out like the rest of us and writing about it on her blog, Digging Suburbia. I invited Holly to join our blog team because I’ve been a big fan of her fun, lighthearted and humorous style of writing for a while now. I always laugh when I read her blog posts. I hope you will too. She offers a fresh perspective and a wonderful way of communicating that. Enjoy!


Hi, y’all. I’m Holly from zone 7b.

Sometimes I wish I was a pioneer. Then I move the clothes from the washer to the dryer and think better of it.

I’m gardening with two bitties and a super tolerant handsome in the heart of deep southern suburbia, trying to teach us all to keep an eye out for ladybugs, powdery mildew, and neighbors who could use some zinnias.

I’m not an expert gardener, a landscape architect, a full on organic, a die-hard DIY-er, or a homesteader. One of my favorite wise women says she doesn’t have a green thumb—she just has dirty fingernails and a tired back, and I want to be like her in so many ways.

I grew up around suburban gardening. My dad was raised on a farm in rural Virginia, and he was probably just trying to scratch a genetic itch with a tomato cage. To this day his solution to almost any problem is to put some manure on it. My mom says flowers speak to her, and the older I get, the more I think I know exactly what she means. If you’ll excuse me, what’s that, camellias? Yes, I’m talking to the nice people. Yes, ok, I’ll be right with you…



organic gardening from zone 7b


In the early days of our marriage, David had to sit me down and have a conversation he likes to refer to as “the one where I told her she couldn’t plant tomatoes in our front yard.”

Fast forward ten years through trying to save a drought-scorched hydrangea with shower water, shade gardening in the side yard of our shotgun house, indoor seed starting with the wrong dirt that brought gnats to the guest bedroom, maybe one or two arguments about bee-keeping, a move to a house with glorious full sun…and, well, you’ve got yourself a girl whose husband graciously agreed to build some beautiful raised beds in the backyard. (See above, re: super tolerant.)

Next time I’ll tell you the story of the construction of my raised beds, and show you how I dove headfirst into all this funness. There may also be tattoos.

I’ll be here often, and if you decide to read along with me on joe gardener, you’ll find what’s happening in our little plot of the world, some mumbling, a whole lot of fumbling, and likely some thinly-veiled rap lyrics.

While I am definitely not an expert at this garden gig, it sure is “a very fun indeed,” as my girls would say. And I want to raise them to love well and find adventures that excite their hearts. So every time I walk in my backyard and get a little twitterpated thinking I can’t believe I get to try to figure this out, I know I should keep pressing on.

If you’ve got gardening questions you think are too silly to ask, well, you’re in good company. We’re going to host a monthly post called “Asking for a Friend,” invisibly subtitled “Dumb Gardening Questions Submitted by Readers or Maybe Not Readers at All Maybe Just All My Dumb Questions but Why Would I Own up to That.”

Joe has graciously offered to answer these questions, and you’ll find that post up on the last Friday of each month. Email them right on along to If yours is selected, I’ll let you know when your response will appear.

I am a writer of all the words, and if you like what you read here, well, peace be with you, and you can find me blogging life and tomatoes more regularly over at

So stick around…hope you dig it.


P.S. Hey, Joe, when I told the bitties I was going to get to write for a website called joe gardener, bitty G, the littlest one asked, “Can I talk it to him?” I said yes because the pigtails were especially high that day, so look out, she will be hand delivering each blog submission to you. Just so you know, it could take a while. She is easily distracted by pine straw and shiny things. Hope you don’t live near a glitter factory.

About Holly Mackle

Holly Mackle is a wife, mama of two flower-sneaking bitties, and garden blogger at Digging Suburbia. She could never be a Disney princess as she picks constant fights with small woodland creatures. Holly is the author of Little Hearts, Prepare Him Room and the editor of In her free time, she enjoys both pop culture and theological podcasts, baking through Pioneer Woman’s recipes, and using every gardening metaphor possible to explain life to her girls. She does not enjoy chasing rabbits away from her green beans.

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