ROCK HILL, SC (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – There are seasons in life. Times of growth and times of rest. But, when it comes to those growing months, they can happen during the most unexpected times and in the most unexpected places.

“The garden started in April of this year,” said Jonathan Nazeer, with Victory Gardens International. “It’s extremely ugly right now, as we’re transitioning over from seasons but this is it.”

For Jonathan and his wife, Cristal, their roots started growing on top of a cracked, asphalt tennis court in the beginning of summer on the South side of Rock Hill.

“Maybe, I like finding other things that people may have tossed aside,” said Jonathan.

The city planned to tear up the old tennis court, but Jonathan had another idea. Why not start a community garden?

“I always figured, I’m a diamond in the rough,” said Jonathan.

That community garden they started in April thrived. All summer long, people came together to grow and share.

“It just kind of bloomed,” said Cristal. “What do you keep doing? You keep watering it and it keeps getting bigger.”

For years, the south side of Rock Hill has been ignored. While other parts of the city grew, the historic African American community became stagnant and neglected.

“To be honest, it’s just kind of gotten left aside for so many years,” said Jonathan.

But, not anymore. They have a food cart but the two have made it their mission to keep going. They’re already in the middle of creating a community farm stand. They’ll take food from their garden, produce from other local farms, and sell it right in the heart of the community.

“There’s nothing like this over here,” said Jonathan.

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While seasons change, life does too.

“Um, quite a lot of changes,” said Cristal.

“Ummm,” said Jonathan.

“I’m still good. I’m still good. You’re talking to yourself saying, you’re still good,” said Cristal.

“For a minute, I was a little scared,” said Jonathan.

“At times, I’m not okay. It’s okay,” said Cristal.

“We’ll fight it head one and we’ll fight together,” said Jonathan.

Cristal was just diagnosed with stage II breast cancer.

“I have found a lot of gratitude, unexpected gratitude,” said Cristal.

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But they are gardeners. It’s their nature to optimistically look for hope, even when things seem scary.

“It’s a garden spider?” asked Jonathan, looking at the large yellow spider that spun her web between two containers. 

“A garden spider!” said Cristal.

“How beautiful is that? That’s so cool,” said Jonathan.

Nature, officials declaring their tennis court plot a garden. Soon, it will grow and bloom again.