Lessons learned in the garden…by Carol Christopher

June 27, 2013

Steve and Carol transplanting basil

Steve and Carol transplanting basil

On this lovely blue sky June evening gathered along beside other gardeners I am reminded that gardening can teach many lessons if one truly pays attention. Rebecca, our G4G leader says it’s time to pull up the spring spinach, “It’s too hot and its starting to bolt” she says, so Steve and I decide to take on the task. Rebecca says “look at that basil in the box next to it. It needs to spread out some, why don’t we transplant some it where the spinach is”
We are on it; Steve puts his wheelchair in first gear and pulls up alongside the raised garden bed while I search for garden tools. Once we are both equipped with a trowel and gloves, the removal begins. The rain has kept the soil moist and the spinach is pliable and easy to pull. Steve makes fast work of removing the plants and composting them. While he is doing that, I dig up some of the basil that has crowded out its neighbors and here is where we come to lesson number one: gardening is about team work. I am learning that the work goes faster and is more fun when you have a gardening partner.
Once the bed is clear of old spinach plants, Steve digs holes to plant the basil. I hand him the plants one by one, he plops them gently in the holes and we both pat the little green transplants in to the soil. Quick work is made of the transplanting and I round up the hose so Steve can water the plants in. Lesson number two: gardening can give you a great feeling of accomplishment.
The job is no sooner finished when we hear Rebecca say,” lets gather to write and share our garden stories”. It is at this juncture that we are brought to lesson number three: Getting out of the garden can sometimes be more challenging than getting in. Steve puts his chair in reverse and goes nowhere. He seems to have planted himself. I jokingly tell him not to worry that we’ll bring him food and water in the morning and he laughs. Fortunately, Kay, being the more practical one, comes to the rescue and suggests that she push while I pull. Steve guns it in reverse and Wha La! He is free! Thus Lesson number four: Gardening is about helping each other.
Now it’s time to gather with the others to share our garden stories. Lesson number five: Gardening in itself, and G4G, builds community. There is nothing like hearing others stories to build a sense of connection. Steve and I work together to write our story and share a few laughs – which brings us to lesson number five: When gardening, one must come prepared with not only tools, but a sense of humor.


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