How Gardening Helped Me Write

Every year for Mother’s Day, my mom and I go to our local greenhouse and she picks out all the flowers she wants potted along our front and back porches. We tote them all home and I get to work:

mothers day gardening
My co-gardener was no help at all.

Usually when I do this, I listen to music/podcasts/audiobooks, but this year I forgot my phone upstairs and was too lazy to get it I decided to switch things up. I decided to unplug and ~commune with nature.~ Whenever I’m doing anything that involves gardening, I think about a quote from Connie Lapallo’s book, Dark Enough to See the the Stars in a Jamestown Sky:

“I savored the feel of loamy earth and the contained wildness of our garden… happy for any reason to dig my fingers in the soil.”

As I “savored the feel of loamy earth”/chased my dog away from digging in the garden, my brain was going haywire. It needed something to focus on, and what better thing than the tidbits of writing I was working on?

I’ve found that when I work on “low brain power” things– gardening, weeding, cleaning out closets, washing the car– these times are perfect opportunities to clear the cobwebs from my writing brain. The only problem is that if your hands are dirty, it’s going to make it a bit more difficult to type in the Notes section of your phone. If you’re old-school and like to write your work down in a notebook, at least the dirt adds some extra character!

Despite my conviction to unplug, I did manage to find myself on Goodreads during one of my breaks. As I was scrolling through it looking for the exact quote from Dark Enough, I came across a different quote about gardening and it led me down the rabbit hole of great literary gardening quotes. Here are a few of my favorites; some are from books I’ve read before and others aren’t. What quotes would you add to this list?

“‘Dear old world,’ she murmured, ‘you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.'” -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“The dirt is picturesque, so I don’t mind.” -Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.” -Ruth Stout

“‘Is the spring coming?’ he said. ‘What is it like?’… ‘It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…” -Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“‘Might I,” quavered Mary, ‘might I have a bit of earth?'” -Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“‘Novels and gardens,’ she says. “‘I like to move from plot to plot.” -Bill Richardson, Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s