Monday, October 15, 2018

15. Flower Power

I see a pattern forming in how some of the most important things I do in my life develop. I wanted to write for years, but couldn’t muster the courage or belief that I had anything worth saying. In those intermittent years, I read everything I could get my hands on about authors’ processes, their strategies, and their successes and failures. By the time I started writing seriously, I had a firm handle on what was required of me: persistence and discipline. Those two things were what I could control. 

This summer taught me that the same thing was happening as I looked outside my back windows season after season. While I didn’t know a lot of technical things, I knew what I liked and what I wanted. I knew that I wanted flowers and plants that remind me of my beloved home state of Kansas.

The afternoon that I decided to take the leap and turn part of one cleared area into a flower bed, I chose zinnias and sunflowers for my starter garden. I had no idea what would come of it. Did I have even a remote chance of inheriting my grandparents’ green thumbs? Would the seeds take?

I borrowed my neighbor’s pitch fork and tilled the ground and then added potting soil on top of the dirt. I read the instructions on the back of the seed packets and planted the seeds. I watered religiously and in four days I saw zinnia sprouts. I was thrilled. This early success built momentum.

I purposely started with a small bed. I was more interested in a little bit of success than biting off more than I could chew or losing interest. Plus, even if none of the seeds sprouted, I was only out $5.

The plants made steady progress, and one evening I took my daughter out to see the sprouts.

“I'm proud of you, Mom. I can see your hard work.”

There’s nothing better than the admiration of an eleven-year-old. I was delighted with my garden’s progress and motivated to keep watering and capturing its progress day by day.

Sprouts appeared days after I planted the seeds.

I could not believe the progress I saw from day to day, week to week.


  1. It's kind of magical to watch, isn't it? I'm glad you're taking photos as you go. It feels so good to look back and see the progress.

  2. You are so inspiring me for next spring. Love the photo of Work in Progress and the memories you are building with your daughter. Keep it up!

  3. Zinnias and sunflowers are wonderfully cheery plants for a starter garden. This series reads like a mystery book. I need to stay tuned to find out what the end of the story holds. LOVE your reminder quote that this garden and you are a work in progress.

  4. Praise from an eleven year old can be hard to come by! Congratulations! LOL!

  5. I love gardening. It is one of the things I miss since my arthritis made it impossible for me. Congrats on the rewards for your hard work.