Thursday, April 30, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

When I was a resident in the beautiful state of TX, I could grow anything. For that five years, my garden was beautiful! Anything I planted bloomed, thrived, produced fruit and made my back yard a peaceful haven. I had tulips, crocus, daffodils, butterfly bushes, hydrangeas, sunflowers. I could toss a melon seed in the ground and in a few months I’d have my own vine - peppers galore….you name it, if I put it in the ground it grew.

I have now lived in AZ for almost 7 years. In that time, I have yet to plant a bulb that will bloom a second season, seasonal flowers that will actually last an entire season, or a vegetable plant that actually bears anything edible.

Why! Why! Why!!!!

I love gardening, but have failed miserably. I know it is possible to garden here, I know plenty of people that do. I even know where my problem is with it. The soil and the climate are different here. I just need to adjust to it- maybe adopt a new strategy and plant something different and appreciate it for what it is.

It’s kind of funny how life is a lot like my garden.

There are times when it thrives, produces fruit, flourishes with blooms and possibility, and provides a comfortable and stable environment. The conditions are right for easy existence. The ground is fertile, and provides a healthy and nourishing foundation for growth, happiness and self discovery. There is plenty sunshine to warm the ground where new seeds are sown, and plenty of rain to water them so they can drink and grow. The roots take hold, and before you know it, the garden of life is in full bloom.

Then there are other times in life when there is struggle and drought. Rocky soil and beating sun thwart the efforts to grow. Seedlings my sprout, but the roots are shallow and they soon whither and die. The soil and the climate are different.

It is at these times that we need to change our strategy. Maybe the seeds we are sowing aren’t appropriate to the soil we are in. Perhaps the climate may be fine for a cactus, but not for a fern. We want what we had in our previous garden, but that may not be possible. We therefore must find new ways thrive and grow in ways that are appropriate to the place we are at. And, we must be willing to see the beauty in a garden that looks a little bit different than what we are used to.

When I moved here from TX, a good friend of mine gave me a garden gift that sits in my patch of dirt in my back yard. It says “Bloom Where God Plants You.” It took me a while to get the courage to live that. The climate and soil of life have changed. But, I am beginning to plant new seeds. Those seeds are beginning to grow. Soon they will be a thriving, beautiful garden!


  1. You might try taking a class at the Botanical Garden. I did a few years ago and it was a blast. I learn so much about the desert it was amazing.

  2. I guess life really is like a garden. Some of us just grow weeds, and some grow beautiful flowers. What's the saying - "If you always do what you always did, you will always get the same result"? Time, as you say, to change your strategies. Go to the nurseries, see what grows in your area. Talk to your neighbours and friends. Above all, don't give up! Grow the best cactus, if that's what your soil will support!


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