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Lessons from an old Gardener

Did you know that April is National Gardening Month?  It’s time to get out in the flower beds and see what is starting to grow. I have been gardening for quite a few years now and am learning something new every season. but I also know that I have lots to learn. I want to live long enough to be a really old gardener. There are so many things to learn from the older generation of gardeners!

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Lessons from an old Gardener

A few years ago, as the weather started changing, I did something a little random. We had driven past a neighbor’s house who still had more flowers in bloom in late Fall than I had all season long. We saw the elderly lady out working in her flowers and decided to stop and compliment her on how beautiful her yard looked. I spent about 30 minutes walking around her yard admiring her flowers and learning about the different varieties she is growing.

She asked me to go home and get some empty flower pots for us to fill. And of course, I did! I ended up with pots of flowers to plant in my yard and a new appreciation for the wealth of knowledge that the older generation can share.

My neighbor reminds me of my Grandmother. My Grandma always loved working in her flowers – even up to her late 90’s. Each year she would sheepishly laugh and says that maybe this would be the last year she’d be healthy enough to put out hundreds of begonias or work in the lilies, but each spring she would start again. She would get out there and work the flowers and pick grapes with her great grandchildren.

Here is one of my video interviews with my Grandma that we filmed sitting on her patio in the midst of some of her flowers!

I know that I love working in the flowers and my gardens and I really hope that I am like my Grandma and this older neighbor down the road. I want to live long enough to be a really old gardener. These are some things that I am learning from these older ladies.

Sharing is important.

You’re never too old to share what you love with others. This neighbor had no idea who I was, but she was willing to share. She didn’t just share her plants and seeds, she shared her knowledge. She took time out of her life and allowed me to learn from her many years of gardening. Not only did she know way more than I do about flowers, but she showed me some amazing jewelry that she has been making using the seeds from one of her plants.

Strangers are just friends you haven’t met.

Years ago I remember stopping at a yard sale and admiring the home owners large flower bed. I didn’t know them and they didn’t know me. But we found something in common immediately. The more we talked, the more we realized we shared more than just a love for flowers. We found mutual friends and similar paths in our lives.

Sometimes Age is Just a Number.

My Grandma lived to be almost 99. Some would say that is old; but we know better. Grandma was still active and ready to pursue her gardens and love for growing things all the way to the end of her life. She was the first one to check her local stores for the first shipments of begonias and always ready to take the weekly trip to the gardening department. 

Do you plan to grow into an old gardener? Are you ready for Spring and already planning your flowers? I’d love to hear your favorite memory of sharing flowers and seeds with the older generation.


Looking for some great gift ideas for gardeners? Check out this list!

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One Comment

  1. Sharon,
    This is precious. Thank you so very much for sharing that with us. Hazel was such a great person and I want to be like her when I grow up. She never gave up on the beautiful things of life and enjoyed them until the end. We have all been blessed to know her.

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