The Garden and The Gardener

garden 1 “It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy…”, lyricized the song writer George Gershwin. He must not have been a gardener.

Up and down our Meadowbrook streets, summer gardens are coming into full bloom and it’s not because the gardeners are taking it easy. Soiled fingernails, calloused knees and aching muscles are testimony to the truism that gardeners love getting down and dirty.

My wife is a passionate gardener, one of many in our floral neighborhood. She does her part to make our parcel of land attractive, adding plants to every corner and contour where grass doesn’t grow, enhancing the beauty of our surroundings.

Fanciful colors dot our landscape: passionate pinks, plum purples, baby blues, ravenous reds and a potpourri of whites. Whimsical names like quick fire, limelight, pink diamonds, twist and shout and pinky winky, fill the pages of her ‘green thumb’ notebook.

From spring to fall, there is constant change in our yard. Colors morph from whites to pinks to browns, as plants begin their preparation for dormancy. Even those browns are beautiful, before the petals succumb to Nature and fall reluctantly to the ground.

Brisk winds will undress the heartiest of foliage at season’s end, leaving naked limbs pruned and shaped to perfection. Plants, even tall ones, will disappear under winter blankets. Our patience, once again, will be tested, as the long wait for spring emergence begins.

Gardening is hard work: planting and pruning, watering, weeding and waiting. I’m not a good gardener. I grumble too much about most everything associated with gardening: too many plants, wrong spot, time-consuming, too costly. But I enjoy looking at the results of someone else’s efforts.

From a window, I watch my wife and her helper dig, trim, mulch, water, talk and laugh. I guess the talking and laughing is a byproduct of gardening. It’s good she has a helper, I would make it stressful.

She moves among the plants with maternal instinct, straightening, cleaning, feeding, watching them mature, talking to them tenderly, giving encouragement and support. “You can do this. You can grow and be beautiful!”

Gardening is such a fundamental activity, so natural. It reveals the  creativity and strength of the gardener, herself. The garden brings joy to my wife and love to our home. Every household needs a garden. We have several, thanks to my wife and her hard work. I’m a lucky guy.


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Retired in 2013 after 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative to begin anew as a school crossing guard. SMy essays/stories are a way to communicate through the telling of personal experiences. One reader said about my blog stories, "...these are like a cold sip during a marathon run, simple, real life events". Another offered about my blog, “it brings some sense of normalcy not easily found in the modern world.”

36 thoughts on “The Garden and The Gardener”

    1. And my eyes enjoy the view every time I walk past your house. If I was really, really small, I would build a very small house in your garden by the sidewalk and watch the world go by. Thanks, Meg.


  1. Once again, I have enjoyed this article about gardening. A little hot to be outside today except later when the flower pots and planters will need watering! Our garden has gone “wild” and everything is growing in leaps and bounds!💐🌳🌿🌸🌼🌻🌞

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so beautiful, Steve. Few writers can pen the words of flowers and gardening to create the images. And such a tribute to Mother Nature- we need her patience and vision.

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    1. I don’t water the lawn (if you’re in Europe, I guess you call it a garden…am I right?) but we are watering our myriad of hydrangeas at the base. It’s hot and dry here (western New York State), as well. Too hot!

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  3. I wish Cyberspouse would wax so lyrical over my gardening efforts, though he is appreciating trying out his new macro camera lens on the many creatures buzzing round the flowers. It is the longest we have been Ever without rain and our wterbutts are empty. Watering cans and bath water; the lawn is brown but grass will recover, the flowers need to be cherished.

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    1. The same here in western NY. Very dry. The lawn is going dormant but we are trying to water our (her) plants. Too much time and money invested to see them go, esp the hydrangeas. And you’re in Tidewater, right? Home if the Tidewater Tides AAA baseball team that plays our Rochester Red Wings. Our son is near DC and he’s been complaining about heat, too.

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      1. I’m in Bournemouth, Dorset, England, but we are a very international family as my family are mostly in Australia and our son posted on exchange to Las Vegas, Nellis Air base for three years – hope to get there next year, though worried about leaving my garden!

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      2. That’s funny. There’s a Tidewater, Virginia, one of our southern states on the east coast here in the US. Our Capital, Washington D.C, is in the northern part of the state. Oh, my, you can’t leave your gardens…😉🇺🇸

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  4. You are one lucky fella, indeed. With the heat, everything is a little early here. I’m a bit worried (gardener worried) about what the August landscape will look like. As I’m viewing your page right now, Steve, the links to the images seem to be broken. I’m not seeing any pics. It could be a glitch at my end. I’m mentioning it just in case. Nice bit of story. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elen, I noticed that, too, and I’m nit sure how to fix it. If I had deleted those photos from my camera, would it also delete them from my story? I write this more than a year ago, originally, but liked it so much that I wanted to repost it. I hope that isn’t the case with my older stories.

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      1. Good suggestion. I’ll give it a try and if it doesn’t work, I’ll just stop by and you can fix it. Just make sure you have some of that strawberry pie or I’ll stay home.

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      2. When I was working, I called on prospects/customers in Ontario (Kitchener, Burlington, Belleville) and always enjoyed crossing and spending a. Oriole of days. Of course, I’d stop at the duty free for some single malt scotch at a good price. If I was still working, your place during strawberry pie season would be a priority. Wouldn’t pester you much, just get the pie and go find a Tim Hortons for a coffee with the pie. 😉

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