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Report From PIA – July 10

I had members of the Garden Writers Association at my house tonight, and we sat around the table talking about what we’re cultivating…not so much in our gardens, but in our lives.

One member talked of how time consuming it was to speak to garden clubs: driving off Cape, chatting with the club members before and after the talk, and perhaps sitting through their business meeting or luncheon. It was difficult to justify spending the day doing this, she said, because it took her away from her other business where she made more money for the same amount of time.

I agreed that sometimes finances had to make that decision, but thought that it was also important to consider about what she wanted to grow. If speaking is an avenue she wants to ultimately cultivate, then that should be the starting point for her thinking.

A few years ago I interviewed Cynthia Sutphin, who started The Cape Cod Lavender Farm. When she originally decided to grow lavender, many people gave her reasons she couldn’t do it. The winters too cold and the plants would die, or the summers weren’t hot enough so there would be no flowers. She pursued it anyway. “It was what I wanted to grow,” she told me.

There will always be someone who is eager to tell us why we shouldn’t do this or that, and why it won’t work. We don’t, however, need to do this to ourselves.

In and out of the garden, if the question is, Why should I do this? and the answer is, Because this is what I want to grow, you’ve taken the first step toward cultivating what you want.

The Cape Cod Lavender Farm. When you're on Cape Cod, you must go.

In between deciding what you want to grow and the harvest there is seldom a direct path. There are obstacles and setbacks, false starts and joyful leaps ahead. But it all starts with that one question: Is this what I want to grow?

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