Wednesday, April 3, 2013


FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT DON'T know, I am an unabashed, die-hard gardener. I'm one of those people who dreams about plants and have been known to shimmy past the grocery aisles in favor of the garden section. I'll take compost over diamonds, a thorny rose bush over a florist's cut flowers and a trip to the nursery rather than the mall. In fact today during my lunch hour I went plant shopping because it had been a whole four days since my last nursery visit. 

Fortunately I'm not like this all year long. By mid-August or so, I get tired of my futile attempts at saturating the hardpan that reliably takes over once the seasonal rain goes on hiatus. My hoses habitually kink up and cause strange sounds to emanate from my mouth as they assault the plethora of overgrown plants.  

But in April, May and through July, I'm a happy camper. Especially when the weather is decent like it's been lately. Right now, daily, I'm witnessing the miracle of life. Dormant perennials poke up from the soil and once-barren sticks sprout tiny leaves and thrill me with their desire to live and thrive in my garden. It's an honor to care for my plant children.

For the non-gardener I'm sure my infatuation/obsession seems like a lesson in futility and often it is just that. But there is something remarkably soothing and alluring about creating and tending my little piece of Earth. 

I've been very fortunate. I have been garden writing professionally since 2003. I recently signed a book deal for my garden book which is all about my ups and downs during the thirty years I've been gardening. Don't worry. It's not a how-to tome. There are plenty of those already out there. Mine is more personal and a chance for me to exhibit my wry sense of humor. 

Are you a gardener? Do you enjoy it year round or during the spring and summer months? Or does dirt make you cringe? If so, it's okay. Gardening isn't for everybody. What especially do you find inspiring during the spring months? 


  1. Non-gardener? What is this you speak of?!

    The Easter Bunny brought me a gift certificate for compost. I spread the first load (one yard) today. By myself. One bucket at a time. To some, that may sound like hell. It was pure heaven. And it's soooooo pretty!

    I'm pretty impressed at your nursery visits already. My big intro to the season will be Fuchsia Saturday at Fred Meyer. Next weekend. It's on the calendar. I can hardly wait.

    A book is impressive. Like, really. My first garden was in a small strip of dirt at my first apartment. I was 19. Nearly 20 years later, it just keeps gettin' better. And more expensive. Ha!

  2. Hi there, Grace! Absolutely, I'm a gardener and I can identify with each of your anomalies! Ha! I was outdoors raking the leaves, for the first time this Spring, now that the weather has begun to warm! What fun discoveries I've made so far!! :-)

  3. I'm able to garden 365 days a year, and sometimes would like a break. I take breaks, but I mean I wish things would stop growing for a bit, like you who live up north get to enjoy.

    I do love my gardens though and am very thankful for them. They are great therapy, for body, soul and spirit.

    Happy Gardening. When will your garden book be out?

    Hugs ~ FlowerLady

  4. Grace, how awesome that you will have a gardening book coming out! Congratulations, friend!

    I am not now a gardener, but I used to be. I grew up on a farm and "had" to work in the garden. But some years ago, before I got married, I lived in a little duplex in the city and started a flower garden. I literally had to dig up the grass to get it started. I nurtured it for 3 years, and I loved it.

  5. I love gardening and always have but not that much opportunity to do it now. I frequently go to the local nursery, which is to die for, just to walk between the rows of plants. I am lucky that I have always lived close to a super nursery. How exciting...your book on gardening..congratulations! Love to see what is in it. Happy Thursday Grace...xx

  6. This is the first house where I have done my own gardening. I think I would enjoy it more if I knew what I was doing. I certainly enjoy the results. I have a ton of garden space and the first year I learned that I had pulled out a lot of perennials that i thought were weeds or sticks. Took me a few years to learn how much mulch helps retain moisture for the flower beds in direct sun. I guess I need your book more than anybody. lol

  7. Congratulations on getting your garden book published Grace. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    This post reminded me of something Mother once said. She was out in her vegetable garden, in her 80's, when my brother asked her, rather perplexed, "Why do you still do that, Mamma? have more than enough money to buy all this stuff at the grocery store and not have to get out in this heat and dirt!

    Mother looked at him, smiled, and told him simply, "Because I still love to see things grow."

    So do I, most all my life.

  8. Hi, Grace! Under our canopy of firs and pines (all 20+!), we've been taking trillium tours and today spotted our first hostas making their journey through the dirt. Our ferns are unfurling rapidly, and our bleeding hearts are blooming! Inground fuschias are making a comeback, and I heard my husband make a comment that sounded like, "We need to schedule a trip to Al's." I'm ready! Bring on the dirt and the gardening tools.

  9. As a non-gardener, I do not consider your infatuation futile. I am quite envious!

    I envy you your knowledge and skill, your physical stamina and your joy. What a nurturing, life-giving, earthy yet spiritual passion and how calming and fulfilling it must be to refer to your plants as children.

    Congratulations again on your new, second book contract!


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