Pets, Places, & Things, Urban Garden

The Zen of Gardening

By Jimmy Deaton aka Farmer D

Urban Garden big sunflowerThis month I’m not going to focus on tips and tricks or what we have accomplished and haven’t for that matter in the garden. I want to focus on what gardening does for one’s soul whether it is in the form of veggie gardening, growing flowers, taking care of one’s houseplants or practicing the Asian art form of bonsai. We all strive for one important thing in doing so and that is to have some peace and tranquility in our lives.

For myself, my past is far from perfect. Believe me, I have more than my share of skeletons in the closet. Born and raised in Prince George’s County Maryland in 1962, I was the wild child in the county especially in the 70’s and early 80’s. Been there, done that is all I’m going to venture in to for that time period.

As I got older in the 90’s and raised a family I realized it was time to settle down and I got back into gardening. For me it was a way of attaining a Zen-like atmosphere. I was so happy to be out working in the vegetable garden or transforming the landscape and it brought me a peace of mind. Gardening has also allowed me to reconnect with my deceased grandmother who raised me from birth. She was an avid gardener both outside with vegetables, fruits, roses and her bed of bearded iris as well as inside with her houseplants. Grandma was awesome!!!! I still use many of her tricks to get the results I do. While the newer generation is pushing the gardening aspect to the next level, it pays to listen to those old timers……their methods are tried and true to the bone.

So what does gardening mean to me?

Urban Garden SeedlingFor myself, it’s a time to relax and enjoy what Mother Nature has produced during the ions this planet has been around. To savor the sights and sounds of a gentle breeze rustling a plants leaves or the buzzing of a bee as it collects the much needed pollen he has have to survive. The beauty of a butterfly as it transforms from a caterpillar into a beautiful piece of art or the melody a song bird produces as it sits perched on a tree branch enticing one’s ear with a song from nature. It’s a chance to reconnect with the earth and produce your own food to feed yourself or one’s family. Or maybe it’s to savor the sweet smell of one’s own cut flowers that were grown from seed. It’s a time to turn off the cell phone and get away from the fast pace of everyday living.

I hope that the images I have provided in this column – which have come from our yard – will stir something inside of you. There really is something very satisfying knowing that you brought a seed to life, nurtured it and then collected it’s offspring to carry on its legacy year after year.

So……no matter what kind of gardening you may do I hope you too can attain the Peace and Tranquility that I have.


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