Solace in the seedlings

My tiny flower garden in the wooded half of our lot was a cool, quiet retreat, May 2008

My tiny flower garden in the wooded half of our lot was a cool, quiet retreat, May 2008

“…all of this time in the garden is stolen, snatched away from other priorities that clamor for attention before or after hours: family, meals, reading, household chores. This clamor is barely audible to the commuter gardener, though, for he has found his solace in the seedlings and flowers and fruits that come from the bits and pieces of time and trouble he spends on his garden.” Conrad Aiken

Considering that Aiken was born in 1889, it’s interesting to read his comments about the conflicting schedule demands facing the commuter.  Apparently our frustration at having too little time is nothing new.  In most respects my life bears little resemblance to Aiken’s, but I certainly connect with his observation that time spent in the garden must be seized from other claimants.  My excuse is that it’s more beneficial to my spirit than it is to the plants I tend.  Whether you have a large garden, a small flower bed or just a potted plant or two, I highly recommend the therapeutic benefit of botanical pursuits.  As Aiken attests, even small bits of time spent in the garden are wisely invested.

See also

Bounty enough

Doing something worthwhile

To see takes time

This post was originally published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Those are so cute! I usually plant impatiens or sweet william in my planters in my shaded back yard, but they are annuals. Are yours perennials?

    • The pansies I had planted there would sometimes come back, presumably from self-seeding and not from being perennial as they are in warmer climates. In Virginia (Zone 7) impatiens and Sweet William (aka dianthus) are annuals too. I kept my Sweet William alive in the community greenhouse this year, but now that I have them outside on my deck, they seem to be afflicted with some sort of mold. About a third of them are turning brown. Disappointing after they grew so beautifully in the greenhouse all winter!

      • I hope you can prune off the mold and save your plants!

        • It’s mostly at the base of the plant, not on the leaves. I just hope the soil can dry out until it’s able to come back.

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