Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) ~

How Is Your Helleborus?

October 12th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 17 secs

What you plant and tend creates the view.

What you plant and tend creates the view.

I like gardening. There’s something about gardeners that’s really attractive. Maybe it’s their down to earth nature or their fascination with cultivation that makes them so different to devotees of other pursuits. But whatever it is, gardeners are a lovely bunch.

Of course lumping all green thumbs together into one category is misleading as each gardener has their own specific niche. For instance, there are the rose growers, fuchsia fanciers, orchid devotees, bonsai buffs, and others. Plus, there are the vegetable growers, spring flower aficionados, cottage gardeners and landscape shapers (just to name a few).

If anything, there seems to be as many versions of horticultural devotees as there are twigs on a tree. Together they twitter and deliberate over which bloom is best or, how big someone’s pumpkin is. Yet, essentially, despite the ego, their common feature is that they all have an abiding fascination with plants and bringing out their best.

Maybe it’s because it takes a lot of vision, work, and patience to grow plants, but gardening enthusiasts tend to be friendly types. Whilst, getting hands dirty and putting their back into the work doesn’t seem to trouble them at all.

Having a keen eye for subtlety, growers express a quiet excitement for the wonders of garden life. Keeping watch for the arrival of tiny green shoots after months of dormancy, gardeners eagerly await the promise of new blossoms and celebrate the progress of fresh growth in their leafy domain.

Their enthusiasm for nurturing plants is, therefore, a great metaphor for life and living well. Because we all benefit from applying patience, vision, and tenderness with enthusiasm as we cultivate a life of growth.

Whether it be in a tiny pocket-sized plot or a wide acreage, these gardening qualities apply. In the same way, irrespective of how elaborate or simple our lives may be, these qualities are also wonderfully relevant.

Despite their tranquil appeal, it takes hard graft to tend gardens well. Work needs to be consistent over the long term to bring out the best a horticulturalist can muster. So it is in us, as we develop best with quietly determined work over the long run. By applying ourselves with worthy actions and dignity we too can make something beautiful of our life.

Whether you are a gardening enthusiast or not, we all must tend to ourselves to make the best of what we are.  By cutting back on dead wood and unproductive habits, and gently nurturing what we recognize as worthwhile, we consciously let our life take shape.

How do we do that? Through:

  • Keeping a keen eye open for subtle improvements in ourselves
  • Promoting personal growth as a priority
  • Quietly delighting in the effort it takes to learn new skills and enhance our thinking
  • Choosing to do well by others, and
  • Recognizing we have the ability to turn even the most tangled mess into something worth admiring.

Because, whether you have a garden plot or not, you and I “garden” ourselves. By tending to our potential and making the more of our growth potential, so we also learn to nurture the same in others. With our hands, our heart, and passion for life, we can directly help to make lives beautiful.

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