A Novice Plants a Garden

My paternal grandparents cultivated a beautiful flower and vegetable garden on their nearly one-acre plot of ground in the little prairie town where I grew up. Grandma affectionately called their home Steeleville. The flowerbeds that edged both sides of their property lines were dense with colorful, eye-popping blossoms. It wasn’t uncommon for them to have cars pull over, drivers and passengers step out of their cars, and ask to admire the flowers up close. My grandma would give a tour to the interested strangers.

In college and in the early years after I graduated I visited my grandmother, who was now a widow and still working in the yard. We’d walk along the flower beds and I asked her questions. I assumed that her answers were landing on the fallow ground of my mind and that I had not inherited her green thumb.

This summer, after years of being frustrated by the state of my yard, I decided to challenge this assumption. For the 31 days of October 2018, I’m telling the stories I learned about myself, my abilities in my green space, and what I produced.

The lessons are soil and soul deep, and I am grateful for what my gardening has taught me. It has changed the way I view myself and my little plot of earth.

October 1:The Start of a New Season
October 2:Fueled by Imagination
October 3:First Floral Purchase of the Season
October 4:Habit Forming
October 5:The Stare Down
October 6:Lunch Time Inspiration
October 7:The Shift in Perspective Continues
October 8:How to Split Pampas Grass
October 9: I've Been Here Before
October 10: Conversation in the Cul-De-Sac
October 11: More Weeding, Another Trip to Home Depot, and Plans for the Backyard's Future
October 12:New Insight Takes Root
October 13:Student of the Garden
October 14:Poison Something
October 15:Flower Power
October 16:My Garden as a Mirror
October 17:Something to Talk About
October 18:Snake Break
October 19:A Moment of Decision
October 20:A New Water Source and a Set of Pliers
October 21:Break it Down
October 22:Welcome to the Neighborhood, Ladies
October 23:Outdoor Living
October 24:The Flower Garden is Complete
October 25:Habit Forming Part 2
October 26:Best Summer Ever
October 27:A Dream Come True
October 28:Wheat State
October 29:Many Hands Make Lighter Work
October 30:What I Learned
October 31:What's Next?


  1. ...are soil and soul deep. Oh yeah. xo

  2. This sounds like a wonderful series. I hope I can make it everyday. I will do my best. I love gardening and I can see how you draw so many life lessons from it.