Why I’m A Gardener And You Should Be, Too

Zinnias

It was all a big accident. Or maybe it was karma.

Whatever it was, I’m glad it happened. Everyone says you should do yoga or exercise, do something to relieve stress and get out from behind a desk. So I garden. And it’s a win-win-win, because I get exercise, I improve the value of my home.

I love my computer, and Facebook and the Internet. But there’s a point at which I need to get away from it all, go someplace quiet where no one can reach me, and I’m alone with the earth, the air, the sun, and I make something beautiful.

A few years ago, I went to a garden center and bought a pack of zinnia seeds. The flowers on the package were pretty and I thought I’d give it a shot. When I got home, I could not believe the size of these seeds. They were like nothing, the size of kitchen spices. If I’d sneezed while handling them, they’d be taken away by the gust of air. I planted them, unsure of whether or not I was even doing it right.

And they grew.

When I transplanted them to the garden, they bloomed in a mix of yellows, reds and oranges. Their complexity radiated out from the center of the flower and I couldn’t help but think back to what I had planted. Those extremely intricate flowers came from a package of dust. That whole piece of exquisite art of nature came from a seed that was just a bit larger than a grain of sand. How is that not the best thing ever?

I feel that every time I plant a seed or see a shoot or new growth on a plant. I don’t succeed every time, but when I fail, now I know that plants can be delicate and fickle, but if I try again, I’ll eventually succeed more than I fail.

When I started working on these magazines, I’d never had a garden. I’d never thought about having a garden. It was a thing that people who were gardeners did. And then that first shipment of trial plants came across my desk. Did I want to give it a try? Sure, why not?

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