The Optimism Of A Gardener
Something we all need in difficult times.
I do not have a green thumb. I leave all planting, watering, fertilizing, tending to and general care of outside and inside plants to my husband. I love plants. I just don’t understand them.
Years ago, my five-year-old son excitedly brought home a tree to plant. His kindergarten class had an Arbor Day presentation and each student was given an oak tree to take home to plant. I use the word “tree” loosely. When I picked him up at school, he held in his fist a stick wrapped in a wet, brown paper towel.
At home, out of ear shot of my son, I asked my optimist gardener, “will this grow?” I didn’t want to be overly optimistic in case it didn’t. I wanted to be honest with my son.
“Sure,” was his response and off he went with my son to plant the stick in a pot.
To my surprise the stick grew. I should have known better, but I just don’t understand plants. Eleven months later found us moving 550 miles away with a baby oak tree in a pot. It was destined to be planted in the yard of our new home.
When we moved from that house 9 years later, my son’s tree was 6 feet tall. I was sad to leave it.
My husband is forever bringing plants to life or back to life. I question him and he tells me, “give it time.”
You would think I would learn, or at least trust his judgement. But when we moved into a new home three years ago, all of the hawthorn bushes in the established front bed succumbed to a mysterious blight. I thought the lone camellia would join them. Only one small branch had life. It was less than a foot tall. I suggested my husband pull it up and replaced it.
“No, I’m going to bring it back. You’ll see.”
Oh, to have the optimism of a gardener now, during this pandemic when nothing is as we would like it to be. Don’t we all need some of that positive outlook on life? Things will get better. We can make it better, but it takes work and patience.
A few days ago, that camellia bloomed for the first time in 3 years and is pictured above.