The practice and joy of gardening come in stages. There’s no gardener that woke up one day and devised the perfect garden beds, chose the perfect seeds, grew them perfectly under a grow light all Winter, and then went on to produce a perfect harvest of disease-free exquisite fruits and vegetables.
Heck, most of us have been doing this half our lives and have never fit into that scenario. In fact, many of the gardeners I know still consider themselves “black thumbs”. There are entire Facebook gardening groups dedicated to crappy harvests, with pictures of hilariously small melons, two-headed tomatoes, and skillets of 6 single kernels of corn.
That’s why I love today’s Cutting, Sense of Wonder, by Arthur T. Vanderbilt II. This short story is about the joy of gardening, and how you get the most out of it by learning things along the way. It’s a great reminder that the act of failing is the best part. How else would I know that I needed two tomatillos to pollinate each other without planting just one? I might’ve never known just how much water my flowers needed when they first were transplanted without killing a few. You can read lots of gardening advice, but it’s that hands-on experience that you remember.
The Joy of Gardening is in Doing it Yourself
This story comes from our archive that spans over 30 years and includes more than 130 magazine issues of GreenPrints. Pieces like these that inject the joy of gardening into everyday life lessons always brighten up my day, and I hope it does for you as well. Enjoy!
Sense of Wonder
From Gardening in Eden by Arthur T. Vanderbilt II, represented in Shelley Cramm’s God’s Word for Gardeners Bible
The joy of gardening is in doing it yourself, in devising a plan or parts of a plan, reflecting on it, refining it as you go along, revising it, fine-tuning it, figuring out, season by season, how the pieces fit together, what works well together, what has absolutely no interest in living on your property, and what is quite happy there.
And in this long process of trial and error, of great plans laid and gone awry, of crushing defeats and tiny victories, a sense of wonder awakens. ❖
From Gardening in Eden by Arthur T. Vanderbilt II, represented in Shelley Cramm’s God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, republished with permission by GreenPrints in 2017, in GreenPrints Issue #110. Illustrations by Christopher Reid.
Did you enjoy this story about the joy of gardening? Leave a comment below with your own story!