Why I Garden

Why I Garden

Finishing up after a day in the garden, a glass of wine in hand, I sit hard on the back porch chase.   “Ah, I say a little more loudly than necessary.”   I thought the need to express myself mattered only to me.  It’s the sound of a good day in the garden.  At the sound, Lily perks up.  She knows by the sound, I’m available.

From the moment born, Lily has loved flowers.  Perhaps it’s her destiny.  A smart girl at nine, she knows I may not put a puzzle together with her, and knows I definitely won’t play card games of any kind, but she has learned to ask me to stroll around the garden, something I’ve never refused.  Today is no different.  Even without the taste of my first sip, I happily agree to join her.

Taking her little hand in mine, we start our journey before ever leaving the stone floor of the covered porch.  As Lily points out a humming bird and butterfly, I find I’m watching Lily as her eyes brighten up at the bold colors of the wildlife entering the garden.  Her delight is my delight.  And so we begin our evening walk.

As we journey down the garden path, we pretend we are the wildlife entering the garden.  We see what the birds, bees and butterflies see.   We go to plants that entice us to take our noses and bury them deep in the flower’s nectar.

We share stories of friends, foods, and flowers.    This time together is uninterrupted; we cannot hear if the dryer buzzer blares or if the phone rings.  We are alone.  It is our special time together.  As Lily chatters, I reflect on why I garden.

Gardening provides me relaxation, creativity, beauty, and the satisfaction of knowing I’m making a difference in the one little plot of land that is in my care.  Without the garden, the kids wouldn’t have secret spaces to venture into or value the earth in her abundance.  First hand knowledge is second nature to them.  Even though I gardened for decades before the kids came along, I now garden for us.  For these moments.

My mind comes back to the reality of Lily’s chatter as she asks me,  “Do you think my hair makes my head look like a triangle?”  “No way,” I said.  “But if it did, you would be in good company, do you see the shape of the Praying Mantid’s head?   Here’s one; look closely.”  And so it goes on our evening stroll.

Why I garden was submitted to M.A. Newcomer over at Idaho Gardener for a contest.  Head on over HERE and give her your reasons to garden.  It was fun figuring out why I garden.

This is my second of these kind of blogger writing contests.  The first was at Garden Rant for their 99 word fiction contest.  I wrote
Nature’s Way, Simplified.  I didn’t win anything, but sure did enjoy writing it.

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening With Confidence™

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her facebook  friend’s page, Helen Yoest or Gardening With Confidence™ Face Book Fan Page.

Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum



  1. Laura said

    Helen- I love this! I think you’ve gotten to the heart of the reason many of us garden. My five year-old, tough “ninja turtle wanna-be boy, happily planted tulips with me today! He understands that if he wants mommies ear, share it in the garden. What a beautiful girl Lily is. Enjoy. Laura

    • Thank Laura! Love ninja turtle wanna-be boys. Planting bulbs with kids is ideal, if they go in upside down they will right themselves.

      One thing we won’t have to worry about is Nature deficit! H.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Helen Yoest and Charlie, The Yarden. The Yarden said: RT @botanybuddy: A nice post on Why She Gardens, and how so many of us started from @HelenYoest: http://bit.ly/88WPbJ #gardening #nature … […]

  3. […] Finishing up after a day in the garden , a glass of wine in hand, I sit hard on the back porch chase. “Ah, I say a little more loudly than necessary.” I thought the need to express myself mattered only to me. It’s the sound of a good day … Continued here: Why I Garden « Gardening With Confidence ™ […]

  4. meghan said

    i love this helen! i also have a 9yr old daughter and i can soooo relate. i’m not interested in playing little games with my kids, but i am happy to share any knowledge i have on nature and gardening. i do hope they share this love with me as they grow up. this was beautiful. thanks for sharing.

  5. tina said

    It sounds like a sure winner Helen. Lily is just too cute!

  6. TC said

    What a lovely story Ms. Helen. My wife and I were just talking about how gardening is a way of life, not just a hobby during the warm months. I introduced the garden to both our teens when they were little, unfortunately neither of them seems to care much about it now. But I suspect that once they’re out on their own, they’ll return to their roots, so to speak, and remember that gardening is indeed a way of life.

    • Too soon to tell on the teen front. I think gardening is a lot like religion, if you build a foundation, they will know where to go to when needed. H.

  7. […] My friend M.A. Newcomer over at Idaho Gardener is having a writing contest on Why I Garden. I entered.  I needed to be able to answer the question for myself.  It was fun.  Here is  Why I Garden […]

  8. Lily is a doll. She and my Bear would have a wonderful time talking and strolling. I love your entry. May you win.~~Dee

    • May you win Dee ;~} I enjoyed the process, that’s all that matters. Isn’t it the best to see the garden through children’s eyes? H.

  9. That is lovely and very sweet. I also have a 9 year old daughter. We need to get them into gardening young, while they still want to spend time with us.

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