Mindful Gardener

“Earth laughs in flowers.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Though I am not a gardener, I have always had an affinity for gardens and have spent many days in both my grandfathers’ gardens.  They grew all sorts of vegetables, fruits, fruit trees, and flowers.  I loved helping them plant and harvest.  I still enjoy getting dirty planting flowers. There is satisfaction in watching something grow. There is satisfaction in nurturing something.

Over the years, when I was able, I created school and class gardens with my students. I loved watching their curious and surprised faces as they discovered garden treasures: a snail, a green tomato, a huge pumpkin. Children learned so much in the garden, not only about the nature of plants, but also about their own toughness and resiliency – grit if you will.

I’m lucky to live near many public gardens and arboretums.  I cannot wait to see their spring offerings.  This spring seems more precious to me, maybe it’s because of the precariousness of the world.  I need a place of serenity and beauty, a place where things thrive and grow instead of being destroyed.  When I’m in a garden everything else fades away.  I step into a different place and time.  I am fully with the plants and flowers.  Surrounded by beauty, I’m able to breathe deeply, slow my heart rate, and be present to all that is flourishing.

Mindful Gardener

I step out of my thinking
into the pink,
the purple and yellow,
into my personal oasis.
A green haven
sprouting to life,
seeds of calm, 
shoots of inner peace,
knotted roots entwine,
newly budded flowers
silently grow.
I forget about busy
and connect with the flowers,
 feel the soil  between my fingers,
I stop worrying,
listen to the sounds 
of the fertile earth,
Inhale all of spring.
My intentions
In full bloom.

Willowood Arboretum – Chester, New Jersey

New & Unique Garden Books for Kids

  • Celia Planted a Garden: The Story of Celia Thaxter and Her Island Garden by Phillis Root
  • Easy Peasy: Gardening for Kids by Little Gestalten
  • Flowers are Pretty Weird by Rosemary Mosco
  • Grow: A Family Guide to Plants and How to Grow Them by Riz Reyes
  • Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood by Tony Hillery
  • How to say Hello to a Worm by Kari Percival
  • Little Homesteader: A Spring Treasury of Recipes, Crafts, and Wisdom by Angela Ferraro-Fanning
  • Parks for the People: How Frederick Law Olmsted Designed America by Elizabeth Partridge
  • Planting a Garden in Room 6 by Caroline Arnold
  • Springtime is.. by Leah Vis
  • The Gardener of Alcatraz by Emma Bland Smith
  • What Cooking at 10 Garden Street by Felicita Sala
  • What’s Cooking in Flowerville? By Felicita Sala
  • What’s Inside a Flower?: And Other Questions About Science and Nature by Rachel Ignotofsky

A great website for you to feast your gardening senses:

Flower Power Daily

Much gratitude to TWT: Slice of Life and SOS: Sharing Our stories.

11 thoughts on “Mindful Gardener

  1. A wonderful trip to your gardens…with inspiration for classroom gardens AND a bibliography. This was some post. Just lovely.

    “This spring seems more precious to me, maybe it’s because of the precariousness of the world.”

    This sentence and the one that followed it read like poetry to me. The balancing of the sentence with precious and precariousness…It just landed on my heart.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If we’re appreciating poetry here it seems you have a touch of that yourself; ‘It just landed on my heart.’ Wonderful.


  2. What a fantastic post, especially with the book lists at the end. It made me want to get into some soil and do some gardening. Your poem is gorgeous – I especially loved your first line, “I step out of my thinking”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I enjoyed all the resources here – narrative, a poem, and books to help think about gardening. You state you are not a gardener and yet I just think you are not an active gardener currently reading your gardening journey.


  4. I love the mindfulness and peacefulness of your poem. I can’t wait for the lush greens and the colours to return. We are still waiting.


  5. Those intentions in full bloom–so, so good. I keep checking outside my back door to see if my first flowers are blooming.


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