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.