Monday, June 22, 2009


I read somewhere that gardening is a kind of parenting for plants.

 Plant parenthood. 

 It involves nurturing a life from tiny seed , or graft, or cutting. A perennial, shrub, or tree needs a careful eye to maintain shape, watch for insects, prune out dead or diseased bits , cutting back when necessary.
Depending on where you live, temperatures, humidity, rainfall, soil conditions, etc., will necessitate unique grooming practices and tried and true habits that reflect the those zones or ideals of what a garden "should" look like or include.

In our area,  there is a shift to low maintenance, drought resistant, instant and constant colour bloom and growth .
 Most people don't have the time , knowledge, or inclination to garden, grow  flowers, vegetables, fruits, or otherwise. 

 When I worked at a garden centre recently, many customers preferred their purchases to be foolproof, weather notwithstanding, and to provide a decorating element to their yards and outdoor spaces along the same lines as the necessary evils of fencing, and to decorate much the same way as their patio table decisions.
  The staff was aware of this "dumbing down" of gardeners , and the move to predesigned, plunk it down and forget it marketing that seemed inevitable.

Yet I was encouraged more and more by genuine interest .

 Young couples that shared their stories about wanting to recreate the sweeping lily beds at their family cottage. Newly married first time homeowners honest about their lack of knowledge but eager and excited to embrace sustainable green spaces and avoid mass annual plantings that seemed wasteful and boring. They wanted perennials, the latest cultivars , the better developed shrubs and trees that would complement their spaces , co-ordinate with their homes, with appreciation for texture, colour , flow, and curb appeal. 

Time and again I was surprised by the  earnest cheer  of young adults helping their parents redo a garden, aiding a grandparent begin anew on a smaller property. By children keen to learn about hens and chicks, and tomato plants, urging parents to buy sunflowers, iris, lilac, watering cans, seeds, and rakes.

We prompted most of these customers to buy mulch... a true lifesaver on busy hot summer weed thriving days, and to plant far enough apart , and dig large enough holes , to augment their soil and so on.
I pointed to the plant labels and suggested they keep them in a safe place,  urged them to call or visit the store , or it's website for support and to ask questions, and to continue the journey of gardening.
I warned them with a smile and touch of an arm that they were beginning a lifestyle.
 A cycle of life and death that would have them in union with the greater cycles of birth and life and death, seasons,  changes, mistakes, disappointments, rewards, pride, accomplishment.

I was met back with joy in the eyes of these on the threshold dreamers. 

I told them that gardening meant getting dirty, sweaty, soaked through, bug bitten, sunburnt, sore, and scratched up sometimes too.
That it was about putting in wholesome commitment and getting on your knees service to grow, uphold, sustain, maximize and never leave unchecked hope and gratefulness in beauty and life.

I was met back with joy in the eyes of those on the threshold dreamers and it changed me , and has rejuvenated my  mudpie maker heart.

We should all find promise and optimism  and a trusting peace in those that follow along just there in our left off conversations. Hope for the future that they've read in the books, and listened  in our lectures and laments and fears. If we see with their blossoming eyes, we may look upon a  rose coloured flourishing future.

If you have any encouraging stories of budding gardeners, please share. I will be starting a section on kids and gardening soon,  so look for that prompt too!


  1. What a lovely story! And it's true--there is a longlasting joy in creating a habitat of life.

    My thanks to Beth of Switched at Birth for sending you to my blog. And to you for leaving a comment so that I could follow back and find your words here. I'm adding Green Acres to the blogroll at Hill Country Mysteries and hope my reader-friends find you too.

  2. wow ! now I'm left surprised and tickled again. I think the original link was to the Talk at the Table blog... my journal of sorts.. but this is such a gift i"ll take it. I just started this.. haven't decided on it's direction but your words of encouragement are bonus.

  3. What a great post, deb. There's nothing like getting your hands dirty, taking both the time and the effort to grow much from little. I really enjoyed this!

  4. Starting is good. Your first posts are passionate and beautifully written. I'm looking forward to being in on your discoveries over time--what you're seeing that you love and hate, how life progresses through the seasons, stories about the people and gardens you care for...hard to find better material than life...

  5. I love the time spent in my garden, planting, nurturing, wonderful to share and help guide new gardeners! :) This year Sweetpea is old enough to start helping and that has been lots of fun!

  6. Billy: thanks for peeking here. I'm not a master gardener or anything, but the outdoor moments, have and will be part of my journey, story. Know that you always bless in your writings, thanks again, and good luck with the book giveaway. I posted a sentiment to her as well, she is such a good soul.

    Kathleen: your comment is truly appreciated. I guess as I've settled into who I am not, it is just so thrilling to spill a little here in this blog world about who I am and maybe why.

    Steph: thanks for visiting. Little helper hands sometimes pick a little too early, water a little too much, but It's all good:)