More Notes From A Burgeoning Gardener

What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action. —  Meister Eckhart

These are my “Victory Roses.”  That’s the name printed on the tab of these miniature roses that I purchased this past spring at the supermarket:



About a month after purchasing them, they were near dead.  Not because I didn’t care for them; I think they weren’t happy because I cared [read: worried] too much.   I kept futzing around trying to make sure that they were happy.  They didn’t respond well to all that hands on mothering.  After withering away to two scrawny branches with a few leaves, and blossoms that kept rotting near the bud base, I thought for certain they had made the transition to the Great Garden.

“Perhaps in their next life they’ll get a better home,” I thought, putting them on the outside porch after the move, and leaving them alone.

In the heat and humidity, they have thrived.  For the past two months, they haven’t stopped blooming.  If you look at the very top of photo, you’ll see another bud waiting to pop.  And if you are inclined to look even more closely, you may even see five or more small buds buried in the green, a bit of pink peeking out here and there.

“Victory Rose” indeed.

No help from me needed, thank you very much.


Here are my two sunflowers getting read to burst:


They are my height now, rising a little over five feet, their magnificence ready to make itself known.

They, too, had a rough start.  I seeded them in the early spring, in the closet, and didn’t think to check them for a week, believing they’d be fine.  They sprouted and grew fast, and when I went to transplant them, the lot of them had grown too quickly, their stems not able to hold the plant up.  This is what you avoid when seeding, a rapid overgrowth in which the plants’ stems grow long but not deep enough to root.  Would they get enough strength in their stems after my bad parenting?  I didn’t know.  Not all of them did.  These two managed to survive my inexperience, the transplanting, the move, and the plethora of grasshoppers that feast on their leaves.

They are giving themselves to the autumn sun and preparing to show their splendor.



My sweet peas have been giving fewer flowers.  I was disappointed, thought it was my over seeding, my experience to blame, until this week I made a discovery.  I noticed the sweetest little pea pods emerging: life giving itself to life.  The flowers were just the prelude to the blossoming pods.  And in this evolution, the sweet pea didn’t say, “she put in me too small a pot, and now I can only make little tiny pea pods, because that inexperienced gardener didn’t give me what I needed to grow.”

No such story.  The precious sweet pea just lives and does what it does, despite my over seeding the pot, and the unquestioned, glorious wild, overgrowth that the pot gives to the sun and sky, the bees and the butterflies.





Here is a zinnia blossom from the same pot that cherishes the sweet peas.  My zinnias are miniature in size, because there’s not room enough for them to extend massive blooms.  But that is part of their charm, and why they give me extraordinary pleasure.  When I look at them, they flower profuse and resplendent,  just as regular zinnias, but their diminutive size allows their stems to reach gracefully in the air, extending their dancer like arms in all directions.

They don’t complain that I didn’t properly give them space; they don’t care that they are in cramped quarters with the sweet peas.

I’ve noticed that the bees don’t sit on the porch railing and say, “wow, someone really didn’t know what they were doing when they planted those zinnias.”

No, they just gather nectar in the afternoon sun, with a lusty, greedy exuberance.





Nature is resilient, without blame or judgements.

To surrender ourselves to that depth of trust is what I believe we call “Enlightenment.”




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2 Responses to More Notes From A Burgeoning Gardener

  1. Ken Moon

    What lovely photos…a wonderful complement to your beautiful prose! Always a joy to read and savor your musings. You are a true Rennaisance Woman.

  2. Julia

    Thank you, Ken. Glad the photos and prose spoke to you. Have a lovely autumn.

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