Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gardening: An Exercise in Generosity

Gardening brings to mind many lessons such as sowing seeds, growth, weeding/pruning and fruitfulness. It also brings to mind thoughts of virtues...diligence, hard work, perseverance, and...


Gardening is the perfect outlet for a generosity. It begs for it. It is tailor made for it. Truly, the more you give, the more you have. As I look out over my yard and gardens, and remember back over my gardening history, I see that I have experienced gardening generosity in three ways...

Seeds and bulbs...
My back flower garden is entirely due to the generosity of others. I had a friend give me a whole bag of iris bulbs. My sister in law gave me daffodil bulbs. Even my plethora of day lilies is due to someone before us sowing a few bulbs in random places around the yard. I transplanted them to a specific spot, and they have flourished and expanded there ever since.

Bulbs almost have to be shared. They get crowded and need thinned in order to keep producing gorgeous blooms. You can plant them in new places around your yard and/or you can share them with someone else. It's an exponential spread of the  beauty.

My bff, bright woman that she is, decided to host a seed party early this spring. She invited 6 other ladies, who each brought 3 packets of flower or vegetable seeds. Around rhubarb mimosas and delicious food, we swapped seeds, and each went home with a wonderful variety.

Know How...
You all know I don't have a green thumb. I do okay with vegetables and herbs outside though. The reason being, is that I have been vegetable gardening and weeding since I was in 3rd grade. At that young age I weeded our entire garden in order to earn a $3 camp t-shirt. I have been weeding ever since.

I know about when to plant in my area. I know about growing green beans, tomatoes, corn and potatoes. I've learned how to grow herbs. I've learned the importance of watering and sunshine and spacing. I've learned from friends who were willing to share the secrets of their success with me.


Last weekend, the girls and I met a wonderful friend of mine at a nursery. (side note, several of my good friends love gardening. I really don't. I love the beauty-but I don't want to invest tons of time in it.) Anyway, I shared back in April about my revamped front garden, and how it turned out more wild than flower. This friend of mine met me, and shared her expertise on what would thrive with lots of color and little effort in my shady area. That was such a blessing. I now have bleeding hearts and ever blooming lilies and some other stuff that is guaranteed to look nice.


Who hasn't ever received a tomato or a zucchini or a bunch of flowers grown in a friend's garden? A harvest is truly worthy of generosity! Herbs and vegetables need used and thinned in order for them to keep producing. If you never pick your green beans or basil, they just stop producing. The more you pick them, the more you will get.

But, of course, who can use a bushel of cherry tomatoes, 10 zucchinis, or an over abundance of chives? Not most people. You have the privilege of sharing the love. Blessing someone else's life with the literal fruits of your labors.

To say nothing of giving away homemade pies and cakes, salsas and jams, plus other random canned goodness...

Have you planted a garden this year? Who's generosity is making it possible? How are you going to keep the generous ball a-rollin'?