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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – October 14

There are many things that we do because we have to. Few of us would pay taxes, shovel our driveways or even brush our teeth if we weren’t obligated to do so. Some things demand our attention and expedience but not our hearts.

I’ll admit that not all people garden out of love or simple enjoyment. One of my callers to GardenLine began our conversation by saying, “C.L., I want you to know that I’d rather be in jail then tending my landscape.” Given that orientation, I felt flattered that he listened to my program.

Some take care of the yard because they want it to be neat and respectable, but they have no interest beyond the minimum involvements. Gardeners, however, invest a portion of their heart.

When you garden by heart you’re not growing a landscape so that passersby will think that you’re a good and prosperous citizen. You aren’t growing plants because the neighborhood association says you need to have this lawn and that shrubbery. Gardening by heart is about growing what calls you or lifts your spirits.

Our lives must be balanced between obligations and passions. The key, I think, is to strive to bring as much heart into what we do as possible. This takes attention and effort. Where is it possible to bring more heart into what we do?

My friend Pamela gardens by heart. She does not have a lawn, and her garden is filled with pass-along and hand-me-down plants as well as carefully chosen specimens.

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