Gardening for Losers

How I Found Messages in the Garden

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When I was a child, my mother’s idea of gardening was putting a geranium on the front stoop of our home. I would dutifully water it and watch it remain all summer. There was no mention of an associated passion or joy from my mother surrounding this growth but more a decorative need for the spring and summer months. I didn’t know there was any more to it.

As I grew older, I, too, decided to place decorative planters on my front porch, much like Mom did fifty years ago. I always take pride in the growth and beauty they bring to the home aesthetic. This subsequently snowballed into having a raised bed vegetable garden and some native plants in the landscape over the last several years. The houseplants also grew to be found in several rooms of the house, much to my husband’s dismay. Once again, I take pride in my ability to successfully grow these plants and foster the local ecological environment with native pollinators outside.

With the advent of all, we are experiencing this year, I am discovering a much deeper previously unknown connection with my plants. There is a palpable shifting taking place. I find that I am more eager than ever to see them grow every day, care for them, water, fertilize, and even pull weeds this year. What are these personal planting roots originating from?

The isolation, detachment, separation as well as division we have experienced on many levels this year has deepened my need to see new growth. My gardening has allowed me to maintain my faith that life is always changing but is continually renewing as well. The roots of my spirt run deep in my gardens with dreams of past failures and future growth.

My plants show me that there is hope for the future even after a bad season. The life lessons taught from my plants, vegetables, herbs, houseplants, etc. are subtle, but if I keep my eyes open, they are there. My plants show me how to grow from my mistakes move forward from my weaknesses, and persevere in the face of stresses. They gently demonstrate companionship and acceptance of differences which results in a beautiful garden bed for all to enjoy.

There is a resurgence of gardening during the pandemic. Gardening for some remains boring, nerdy, or simply weird, but if the gardener is wise and listens, the messages are age-old.

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