On Finding The Wonder Garden

The wonder garden, the real one, exists everywhere you can place a seed into the ground or watch a bud blossom into a flower.

Every gardener has come across it at one point, though we may call it by different names. The wonder garden, the amazing garden, or the beautiful garden. Perhaps we’ve called it stunning, magical, inspirational, or peaceful.

For me, the wonder garden is often a well-tended botanical garden. I always feel inspired when I leave, thinking about how many of those plants I could grow. There’s a small garden shop near me that inspires this same feeling, although I have to be careful there. I can’t buy the ten-foot tall cactus at the botanical garden, but I could drop a few hundred at the garden shop faster than you can say “Monstera!”

In today’s story, though, penned by Arthur T. Vanderbilt II and brought to us by Shelley Cramm, the wonder garden is your garden. And mine. In fact, it’s every garden. “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,” writes Arthur.

He’s not wrong, either. As much as I love the botanical gardens, the gorgeous garden shop, and (let’s be real, right!) the plant section at the big home improvement store, my garden is uniquely mine. And yours is uniquely yours. And there is wonder and joy in that.

Find the Wonder Garden In Your Life, With Stories of Gardens Far and Wide in GreenPrints

This story comes from our archive spanning over 30 years, and includes more than 130 magazine issues of GreenPrints. Pieces like these that imbue the joy of gardening into everyday life lessons always brighten up my day, and I hope it does for you as well. Enjoy!

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Sense of Wonder

By Arthur T. Vanderbilt II

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, reprinted in Shelley Cramm’s God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, published originally in 2017, in GreenPrints Issue #110. Illustrated by Christorpher Reid

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What is your favorite thing about your garden? What brings you the most joy? I’d love to read about them in the comments. 


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