June 21, 2013

My biggest lesson: gratitude

lilyofvalley

"If you build it, he (they) will come." That famous line from the movie, "Field of Dreams"--while cliche--is true. I'm imagining the scene out in the empty Iowa farm field, at night, with the crickets chirping ... with the promise of what could be, but is not yet ... with the Corn starting to bolt in the warm, fertile soil.

That scene--its images, sounds, and hints of warmth, scents, and tastes--says summer to me. It's replaying itself outside my window right now, and it is truly heaven. (Not Iowa, but close!)

hellebore

The movie also reminds me that sometimes all it takes to get something new going--something of value for sharing with others--is taking action and following your instincts.

Two years ago, this month, I wrote a post about lessons I had learned that spring. And when I invited others to join in three months later, the lessons they shared astounded me. Some were practical, others artistic, and still others were actually spiritual life lessons.

jack

It's true that if you build it, they will come. The goal of this meme is to share any lessons you've learned in your garden. And I am deeply grateful and honored to be a part of this dialogue.

Here are lessons from gardeners who linked in their blog posts:

1. Karin at Southern Meadows, in Georgia, shared new things she learned about plant mutations and posted a photo of a fasciated Foxglove. It's an informative post that also includes facts about lady beetles and black swallowtails. Check out Karin's exquisite photo of a raindrop on a Plum blossom.

2. Donna at Gardens Eye View, in New York, offered the wisdom of simple things--Milkweed plants that offer childhood memories and nourishment for Monarch butterflies, and graceful planters with simple statement flowers in a single color. You'll want to see how she did it. (A special thank-you to Donna for collaborating on the Lessons Learned/Seasonal Celebrations tie-in!)

3. Holly at Roses and Other Gardening Joys, in Texas, had jury duty this spring. While it was a rewarding experience, it reminded her of how she is the judge and jury in her own garden--which can be both rewarding and unpleasant. A plant that was a thug in her garden--Indigofera decora--just had to go.

4. Jason at Garden in a City, in Illinois, shared a delightfully humorous story of his history with Morning Glories and spending too much money on a plant that's better started from seeds. This is an all-too-familiar story for me, for various reasons. You will chuckle when you read Jason's post!

5. Michelle at The Sage Butterfly, near Washington, DC, made the journey from spring into summer with grace and beauty. Because her spring unfolded slowly, "blooms seemed to last forever, delicately opening to reveal a magical place deep within that remained for longer than usual." Michelle shared her lessons of appreciation and patience.

6. Rose at Prairie Rose's Garden, in Illinois, reminded us to capture garden moments while we can. One day her Baptisia plant was beginning to bloom, and the next time she checked it, the blooms were gone. Rose's post is full of garden and life lessons. And coming from a veteran gardener who's still learning, her wisdom offers hope and joy to all of us.

bloodroot

Others who participated through their comments, include Lynne at Irish Garden House, who "noticed more than learned"--which is a wise comment in itself. Angie at Angie's Garden Diaries learned not to waste time and effort on plants that simply don't want to grow in her garden. Christy at Christy's Cottage Wildlife Garden relearned that sometimes baby birds don't survive, and that it's best not to be overzealous at weed-pulling in the early spring.

Aaron at Garden of Aaron thought some of his plants were dead, only to find them thriving a short time later. Kathleen at Kasey's Korner reminded us that the more we learn, the more there is to know. Donna at Garden Walk, Garden Talk mentioned there's too much knowledge to gain in life, and too little time. Deb at Deb's Garden relearned that native plants tend to thrive more than non-natives in her garden.

Janet at Plantaliscious discovered the scorching effects of salt-laden winds on new plants, having recently moved to the coast of Wales. Helene at Graphicality-UK learned from last year's unusually wet growing season to use slow-release fertilizers to keep the nutrients in the soil as much as possible.

redtrillium

I've noticed other "lessons" posts around the garden blogosphere. I didn't link them in here because the blog owners didn't request it, and asking everyone if they were interested seemed a comprehensive task. But if you've written a post during the past few months that fits here, feel free to add the link in your comments. And likewise, if I've forgotten anyone please let me know and I'll update the post.

Thanks, again, everyone! All I can say is that my biggest lesson is gratitude ... for your friendships, sharing, and participation.

sedum

30 comments:

  1. These posts are always so poignant. I've learned to love my garden and all its flaws and to be grateful for what I have even if it means I don't always get what I want. I mentioned you in my Garden Love column. :o)

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    1. Awwww, I don't know whether to smile or pout. Good advice about gratefulness, Tammy. Always a good plan. :)

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  2. A lovely post and an excellent idea. Thanks for sharing these lessons. (Field of Dreams is a great film!)

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    1. Thanks, Tim. Sometimes in the middle of winter, I watch Field of Dreams, and it gives me a little taste of summer. But it also makes me sad that summer is so far off. Nothing like a warm summer night in the Midwest!

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  3. Thanks for hosting this each season, Beth; it's a great way to reflect upon the last few months and remember what I've learned. Best of all, in order to make sure I wasn't just repeating last year's lessons, I went back and read my post from last year. It was about my trip to Asheville and how it helped me to love my own garden--one of my best lessons ever and one I needed to be reminded of again.

    I've already checked out several of these bloggers--Jason's is funny and so relatable!--and will be sure to check out the others soon.

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    1. Thanks for participating, Rose! I remember your lessons from last year. One of these years, I might actually get to the Fling. But something always seems to come up. I'm thinking about planning a simple Midwest bloggers' meeting at a botanical garden. Are you up for it? Rockford? Janesville?

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  4. and I have learnt that 'if you build it, they will come' has roots deeper than a slogan for wildlife gardening.

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    1. Hmmmm, you must have an advertisement in South Africa that uses that phrase? How interesting. It truly is such a small world, and new media connect us in interesting ways ...

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  5. Thank you for being such a wonderful hostess! I love learning from others' experiences. I am looking forward to visiting all the blogs that participated!

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    1. Thank you, Karin! I have learned so much through your blog and all the others. Truly a pleasure!

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  6. Your meme is one of the very best on the web. So many benefit from the experiences, words and photos. I never saw Field of Dreams, but the title says so much even if it is a cliché. I love the image of the field, corn and crickets, peacefulness at its best.

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    1. Why, thank you, Donna! It's fun to host a quarterly meme--and each season is so different! Regarding Field of Dreams: I think you would like it!

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  7. I remember your first meme on lessons. Can it have been two years? I agree with your focus on gratitude - perhaps the major life lesson, but one always in need of practice. Yesterday, a perfect blue sky start to summer, the poem "I thank you god for most this amazing day" kept going through my head ...

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    1. Yes, believe it or not it has been two years! The days you describe are such a blessing. Lately I've been feeling that way, too. We are so blessed!

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  8. I too remember your first post...I really enjoy participating because it allows me to contemplate the season. As I think about the start of the season, your meme gives me a chance to reflect and learn...thank you for that opportunity!!

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    1. I'm glad, Donna! I enjoy your meme, too, and they're a natural pairing. And isn't it nice to host a quarterly meme? It gives you a little rest between posts, but it's so fun to find out what people will write about!

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  9. Since I made my "noticed more than learned " comment . . . I remembered what I have learned. It came to me as I walked around the yard and gardens the other morning after an early rain. The bare garden spaces were filled with budding perennials, the ostrich ferns were reaching toward the sky, the Red Twig Dogwood was filled with light green and white. Everything I had been fretting about had come into its own. All was suddenly well in my world. I just needed to refresh my PATIENCE button and enjoy the moment.

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    1. Patience ... yes, that is always an issue for me, too. Until, like you, I slow down and simply enjoy the moment. Sometimes my garden takes a bit to come into it's own each spring, too. But gosh, it sure is lush now with all the rain and sun!

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  10. This was a great idea for a meme. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Jason! I'm really enjoying it, and your post was so much fun! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Love this meme... hoping someday to slow down long enough to participate. In the meantime... I do enjoy reading the thoughts that others share. Today my thoughts are filled with gratitude for so many reasons.

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn. I always learn something new when I visit your blog. It's beautiful, and I imagine your garden must be incredible, too!

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  12. My biggest lesson is how much we all can learn from each other. Since starting blogging I have learner incredibly much about my own garden that I would never have been able to acquire on my own. Thanks for hosting the meme, can't believe it’s two years since the first one!

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    1. So true, Helene! I agree with everything you said. And I have learned so much from you, too! I'm so amazed with the health, vitality, and diversity of your garden!

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  13. Thanks for mentioning me. *Honored*

    It was great to have you collect so many valuable lessons in one place!

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    1. Of course, Aaron. Please join in again!

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  14. Thanks for the mention and for sharing your beautiful photos and the lessons learned by you and other bloggers. I guess you could say all we ever need to know we learned in the garden!

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    1. Good point, Deb! And add those lessons to what we learned in kindergarten, and we should be all set. ;-) Thanks!

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  15. I am always amazed and touched at what lessons the garden teaches us all. What a pleasure it is to read all of these in one post. The seasons offer so much in nature to teach us. Just wonderful!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle. I appreciate your participation and wise messages. Each season is different and full of things to learn.

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