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In the Garden - My Life as a Beginner Gardener

As I launch this new platform (Mrs. Roger's Neighborhood!) I want to give you insight into lots of different areas of my life, one of which would be our garden and all that it is.

I think the best way to learn to garden is to learn all you can through experts (books, videos, articles, etc...) then execute.  I had heard through many sources how important it is to trim off dead branches/leaves from plants in order to promote new growth, but I never actually did this.  I figured that the dead stuff would fall off on its own.  My husband had been doing his own research and found that in order to condition our soil in the backyard we needed ground cover, ideally mulch, for water retention and to bring nutrients back to the soil.  He covered our backyard (in a rather comical fashion) with mulch and we began to see it start to break down pretty quickly.  Our yard was so dry previously, but we also know the mulch takes time to condition the soil.  Patience is a virtue we are learning.

Recently, I noticed our tomato plants were not producing and that there was a ton of dead material on the plants.  I went through and removed as much as possible.  I pulled off dead leaves and trimmed off branches with no flowers or fruit on them.  Then Bill and I went out of town, and had a few people come over and water the garden.  Two weeks later, upon my return, imagine my surprise that it actually worked!  We had so much new growth in all kinds of different directions.  The combination of mulch to retain the water and trimming produced something magical.  It looks like we will get a second tomato harvest this year.  I wish I had pictures of before and after because it is pretty wild.  The above tomato is the biggest one we got all year and it hung alone on a plant that looked completely dead.  We will celebrate that tomatoes harvest and enjoy every last bit of it.

I could not help but in my mind draw the parallel to our lives.  We must trim away what is not serving us and leaching our energy and time in order to invest as best we can and provide the best fruit.  Sometimes the process is painful and long and requires multiple seasons of pruning, sometimes one quick snip can make all the difference.  I feel like this season of my life has required some pruning.  I've had to cut away a lot of what is not helping me to become who I want to be and what is taking my focus away from what really matters.  This process, for myself, has been long, but the reward is no longer struggling with anxiety and not over scheduling myself.  I am able to find rest and peace.  I am able to be more present and open with those around me and I have developed trust with the people in my circle.

And to think, all this came from some tomato plants.

Nature can teach us such incredible lessons if we just take the time to listen.


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