Monday, December 21, 2009

Why I Garden

My friend Mary Ann over at Gardens of the Wild Wild West asked us a while back to share with her the stories of why we garden. "What makes you brave the wind, sleet, high temperatures, low temperatures, frost and frost bite to put little tiny seeds or great big trees in the ground. Why oh why? And you do it again and again. Eternal optimists, yes. But I know there is mor e to your story. Tell me what it is." I've only read one of my fellow bloggers' essays and Leslie of Growing A Garden in Davis certainly captured a good many of the reasons I garden. Like Leslie and probably most gardeners, certainly I garden for the joys and delights both the process and the results bring me. There are days when my heart is so full of emotion that I can only sit and sigh as I survey the beauty all around me.

But I garden not just because of what it gives to ME, I garden because it's an opportunity for me to give to others and to make the world a better place. I garden because I believe it's a way for me to be the change that I wish to see in the world. Even if it's insignificant in the grand scheme of things, my small surburban corner of Katy affects the lives of those who walk or drive by. Sometimes they stop to ask the name of a plant or to tell me how the garden reminds them of a special time or place in their lives. They recognize a plant that their mother or grandmother grew and for an instant, they're that beloved child or grandchild again. Young children stop to exclaim over the butterflies and to shyly ask if they may pick a flower. Even a few of the teenagers fall under the garden's spell and stop to tell me, as one young woman did, that seeing it "makes my day all bright and shiny". I garden because I know that someone's day is better for having seen the poppies in bloom or watched a Monarch butterfly nectaring amongst the coneflowers and Cosmos. I garden to remind them, and myself, that life is good.

9 comments:

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

You make me feel ashamed and selfish! Your reason for gardening is so wonderful.

Leslie said...

I love your ability to see your garden as a gift to so many. It's something we all need to remember.

Gail said...

Cindy, This was a lovely post~~and a wonderful reason to garden.~~gail

Rose said...

Inspiring thoughts, Cindy! I must admit I thought of sharing time with my grandchildren when I responded to this prompt by Mary Ann, but otherwise I thought only of how gardening affected ME. Thanks for reminding us all that we are doing something that can positive effects on others as well. Beautifully stated.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Cindy!

Cindy McMorris Tournier said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I assure each of you that my primary reasons for gardening are as selfish as they come. Each time someone stops to tell me they enjoy the garden, though, it reminds me that I am part of a community and what I'm doing matters more to others than I realize.

Anna/Flowergardengirl said...

That really shows in how you write about your garden too. You love to share. This is very thoughtfully written.

Meadowview Thymes said...

Such a good question Cindy. I have often thought about this.. I think I garden because of my love and excitement with nature. Starting with a tiny seed and watching it become a beautiful flower brings me such joy!

Layanee said...

Love the new flagstone walkway and your slide show. Gardening is in the genes and sometimes on the jeans. Your reasons are wonderful.

Linda/Central Texas Gardener said...

Cindy, what a lovely reflection to start the New Year! I agree, it's a way to make even a small change that makes people happy. Then, they do something to make someone else happy. And you've certainly done that for us, too, even though we can't walk by in person. Have a fabulous new gardening year. I look forward to sharing it with you. (Oh, and your picture will be in the video of Diana's garden, coming soon!)