Saturday, April 26, 2008

Green Thumbs Don't Grow on Trees

People often tell me they aren't good gardeners, as if possessing a green thumb is a genetic trait, bestowed only to a lucky few. To this I reply, "If any of us were born with green thumbs we'd no doubt be spending a fortune on trying to correct the problem."

The metaphor of the green thumb is best suited to describe a hard-earned honor, a skill gained from routine practice, from many years of experience.

If there is a "secret" to becoming a good gardener, to
turning one's thumb green as it were, it is not an inborn trait; it is passion, and everyone has passion.

The surprising thing about becoming a gardener is
discovering your passion; rousing ancient senses within your mind and body that will lead you on a lifelong journey. Little did you know that new seedlings just up from the warm soil have their own unique odor, just as the sweet smell of babies can only be found on babies.

When hands touch a leaf or stem or petal one's nerves tingle. The brain, I am convinced, was long-ago wired to communicate intuitively with the botanical. This is not a magical phenomenon, it is evolutionary, for without a trait for the desire to care for plants the human race would undoubtedly perish; our earliest ancestors secured a place for
homo sapien through the very act of gardening, through forming emotional connections with plants.

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