Growing a Garden and Seeing Potential

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I found my spot. The one to sit at for hours while the kids are at preschool and I need to get work done. This one is a little outdoor seating area of a local grocery store. It’s surrounded by planters of greenery, boxwood, begonias, and hanging ivy. It’s a cool, drizzly kind of day—summer’s over but its too humid for fall.

The rustling leaves and quiet breeze are worth bearing the chill as I take a deep breath and sip my flat white.

Our family is going on one month off sugar and gluten, and it’s been pretty doable since we got into the habit and cook from home more. We make exceptions here and there (my husband’s exceptions are hamburger buns and mine are stroopwaffels), and the occasional exceptions make it easier to keep.

I was also told by a medical masseuse (sort of like a gentle chiropractor) that I was dehydrated and my lymphatic system was backed up. I thought this sounded a little too out-there until I googled it and discovered that the lymph system is actually a thing! And that my brain fogginess, headaches, and body swelling were supposedly attributed to this extra “lymph” in my body, and dehydration.

“Yeah, probably not…” I told myself, but went to work buying a gallon water bottle and trying to finish it each day. And after 5 days of insane water-guzzling, the daily headaches are gone. The fogginess is less. And I lost 3 pounds in five days and I THINK I look better!

So Grandmommie arrived from Houston yesterday and tonight she’s doing a birthday dinner to celebrate all four of our birthdays she missed while we were in India. How fun! So, no cooking and more blogging for me, while Grandmommie shops for groceries. Also, my MIL has been teaching me about all the little plants I’m attempting to grow. I’ve been learning that rosemary likes it outside better, and that the cute tin pot I bought my Money Tree in doesn’t have holes, so it could get root rot. Oh yeah, and it turns out my pink petunias are rapid-growers and everyone is impressed by the way they overflow the windowbox.

As autumn approaches I’m starting to think of what will grow indoors, and how I can bring all this green beauty in to make our home fresh.

One of the lessons I learned in our Indian mountain home was that no matter how small or simple your space, you can see the limitations or the possibilities.

I could have seen no outdoor space, no yard, no driveway or parking space, less than 800 sq feet, no dining room, no bathtub, a tiny kitchen, a broken window that the monkeys used to break inside. Or I could see the huge windows with the million dollar view, the beautiful wood beams, the two complete bedrooms, the window into the kids room so I could watch but not hear them. And once I started to see the good things, the unique features, I then began to see the capacity for more.

I saw the empty window boxes waiting for colorful flowers, the dingy wreck-of-a-mudroom waiting to be made into a bright white entry room with shoe shelves and helmet hooks. The empty wall waiting for a painted picture or sketched word art. And so much more.

So this week I’ve been experimenting with cork adhesive contact paper that turns empty yogurt tubs and diaper boxes into cute storage. And green plants on sale that call to me to make my rooms feel like a garden. And then when I think of 9 months from now, another transition to a burgeoning city of 19 million with infamous air quality and summer highs of 120, I remember that I can also do this there.

I can take a green thumb and a creative eye for handicrafts and DIY pieces anywhere and always find something to inspire. But more importantly, I can take the skill of seeing potential—for green, for beauty and the peace of God—and know that I’ll grow us a garden anywhere.


  • beth grant

    “But more importantly, I can take the skill of seeing potential—for green, for beauty and the peace of God—and know that I’ll grow us a garden anywhere.” Love that, Becca, and its so true. And I love seeing that realization take root and grow in you. Beautiful.

    Reply

    • Wellspring Post author

      There are so many things to grieve in the going and coming, but so much to create and to take with us and celebrate. Ahhh… so many feelings this morning! Thanks for your note. Love you.

      Reply

  • Nancy

    I love this! I’m learning about green also. This week I bought cheap new plants at Walmart and replanted 2 planters where I’d killed the plants this past year. There is always hope for a new bit of green and a do-over, even if I killed the first ones. Note to self–water succulents less and ivy more. As you so beautifully wrote here, we can do this anywhere. That is like life. Life is full of possibilities where ever we are. Thanks for writing.

    Reply

    • Wellspring Post author

      Nancy, its encouraging that you’ve killed a couple. I was walking through Lowes yesterday thinking, I don’t have time for tons of trial and error, I don’t want to waste a fall trying and failing! But I’m going to give it a shot anyway. 🙂 And I”ll make sure I water my ivy a lot– thanks for that! BTW I found a great plant for air quality, it releases oxygen at night while you sleep. The snake plant. I’m potting it tonight. Yay!

      Reply

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