Written by Lizabeth
Confession–I am not a gardener…at all. I am not inclined to enjoy
trudging through the mud early in the morning to water flowers, or digging
weeds out of the ground, or getting rid of the nasty insects which attempt
to ruin my garden.
Honestly, gardening never really appealed to me since it
seemed like a ton of work just for something that hardly anyone would pay
attention to. Plus there is that detail-oriented thing where plants need to
be a certain distance apart at a certain place with certain sunlight and
should be watered at certain times. In short, while I wish I had the
patience to watch sprouts turn into leaves, it is just not in my genetic
makeup to allow that kind of past-time.
That being said, over the past two weeks I have been working in my mom¹s
garden while she is out of town. We have lots of flowers (geraniums,
pansies, tiger lilies, roses, lilac bushes, lavender) and a
vegetable/fruit/herb gardens as well. Tomatoes, cantaloupe (just to see if
it would grow in Michigan), basil, cucumber, thyme, peppers… you get the
idea. Pretty much a lot of different things, most of which we have never
tried growing before. In the past, my mom has had great success with
tomatoes, as well as cucumber, so now it¹s fun to try planting something we
have never attempted to grow before just to see if it works out.
So my job was to make sure the flowers and plants were watered. No weeding
or bug killing necessary–just water the garden in the morning, and keep an
eye on things so the rabbits do not get away with destroying too many
blooms. Simple, right? Even a complete black thumb like me could not mess
this up. And I was partially right.
Granted we had some harsh rain which beat down the seedlings, so some
flowers look pretty beat up. Besides that, though, I realized the growing
process was occurring. One of the tomato plants has a bloom which will soon
become an heirloom tomato. My brother got my mom one of those ‘As Seen on
TV’ Topsy Turvy tomato planters which grows the plant upside down, and ours
is sprouting some small green tomato blossoms already. Our bell pepper
plants have some blooms, as well as the cucumber, and surprisingly enough
the cantaloupe is looking as though it may actually grow something edible.
Getting up early to water the plants, before going to work, was not what I
would call fun¹ until I noticed the visible changes in the garden. More
height to the sage, more leaves on the jalapeno plant, and more promise in
all those possibilities purchased at our local seed store.
I think now I understand why gardening is something my mom enjoys. It¹s not
just a bloom on a tomato plant–that tomato will become a marinara sauce
while we eat dinner and laugh together. The jalapeno will go into salsa we
can give to a neighbor. The sage might season some chicken for a nice
dinner with friends. Bell peppers, perfect for dipping in homemade garlic
hummus. This is more than just plants that require a lot of work with
little return. Now I can see the beauty of gardening and why patience and
persistence is rewarded.
My focus tends to be on immediate results instead of the long-term plan.
Tending my mom’s garden showed me that looking ahead at the big picture is
important, especially when I am so focused on the now that I lose sight of
the later. All it took was seeing that first flower on the tomato plant
to realize my perspective needs to shift. Being able to see things as they
may someday be will help me see potential in others and in situations which
may have otherwise been overlooked.
I am still not a gardener, but I have the feeling this revelation may turn
my thumb a greener shade of black.