A Garden’s Promise
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” I didn’t understand the powerful meaning of this quote from Audrey Hepburn until the quarantine of 2020. While many baked bread and remodeled their kitchens, I got my hands dirty in my little raised bed. What I initially thought would be a fun way to tap back into a childhood experience turned out to be so much more. It was just what we needed to distract us from the world beyond the garden fence.
I am surprised at how much time and effort Little Bud and I dedicated to our little patch of potential. Little Bud loved checking the plants every day and it always seemed there was something to discover–new blooms, bees or even a baby fruit. We planted squash, tomatoes and cucumbers this spring. Initially, things didn't go well. We were under attack by raccoons and we had a steep learning curve. However, none of that dampened Little Bud’s enthusiasm for what was to come.
Eventually, our single cucumber plant put on quite a show! There were days that Little Bud and I plucked 11 cucumbers from this fertile vine. When family came over, they marveled at “her” size, yes, she was a girl in our minds. Mama Cucumber to be exact. We even had enough produce to share with others. She provided fruit for much longer than we expected and it was great to go out each morning and see what she had in store for us that day.
Mama Cucumber added excitement and hope to our quarantine. The garden overall served as a living classroom for Little Bud when he couldn’t attend actual school. As spring turned to summer, PMan even showed interest in our efforts as we expanded beyond the little patch. As I brought home potted citronella and lantana plants and explained that they are supposed to ward off mosquitos, both boys were intrigued with the idea that plants could deter bugs. The usefulness of plants seemed to be fascinating to them, and I have to admit I was pretty amazed as well, although the jury is still out on whether our little plants actually reduced pests.
So far, our Fall garden has not taken off just yet. We do have an autumn squash that has displayed some pretty impressive blooms, but there doesn’t appear to be any pollination taking place. That doesn’t seem to bother Little Bud. He sees the world with so much potential and promise that he doesn’t easily get discouraged. Watching him observe the world with wonder has made planting a garden completely worth it. It was an added bonus that we actually had success. It seems children naturally believe in that promise of tomorrow and look forward to the adventures along the way. Our little spring garden helped me tap into that again despite the challenges of 2020. Here’s to sowing the seeds of tomorrow and believing that a better day will come!