Growing Season

I’m a late-bloomer gardener, gardener a generous term to call the repotting and repositioning that I do in my backyard with plants purchased from Home Depot.

Each year, I notice that I pay just a little more attention to how well they do in the places I put them. Pre-potted blooms are expensive! I want them to last all summer and perhaps, if brought indoors, through the winter months. And I’m frequently rewarded with lessons on life – and writing – from Mother Nature.

Here’s the lesson, so far, of this growing season:

The plants that I fuss over, like the hibiscus in the sunniest spot in my yard, whose dirt I keep moist and brown-edged leaves I clip, hasn’t bloomed since I brought it home.  I know it’s a tropical plant and here in the midwest, it hasn’t been very hot and moist. It’s just a lovely pot of thick, healthy green leaves at the moment.

But the plants I have not fussed over at all, like this one that I forget to water, that hangs by the hammock under an umbrella of tree branches:


is doing just fine, thank you.

And check this out: See this little green growing thing?


Guess where I found it and at least eight others like it?


When I opened my shed door, the little red wagon filled with potting dirt that lives there in the dark with an assortment of varmints and only the tiniest bit of light coming through a broken window.

I suspect someone with botanic brawn will let me know the science of this – I’m sure there there’s an explanation – but what interests me at the moment is how well things grow; how much things want to grow, without any human help at all. Nature is … extremely self sufficient.

You might be asking how does my excuse for a real garden relate to writing process?

As a gentle reminder not to over-water, over-feed, over-fret and over-work our creations. To first give them a chance to find their own place in the sun and intervene, if necessary, later.

I’ll keep you posted.

Photos by Ellen Blum Barish