You Can’t Plant Flower Gardens without Getting A Little Dirt on Yourself


You Can’t Plant Rose Gardens without Getting a Little Dirt on Yourself and the Roses that Smell the Sweetest Are Covered with Thorns

I was just thinking about the old song on the Layla album: There’s A Thorn Tree in the Garden.

How true it is that roses have thorns–the best things in life seem to come at some price–we can’t even plant a garden of flowers without getting dirty.

Oh, we could be rich and we could pay someone else to plant our flowers and to clip them and put them in vases for us. That way, we could sit in our ivory towers and merely watch our gardener, but in doing that, much of the joy of flower gardening would be missed. I do ALL of my own gardening. I dig every hole, and I move every shovel of dirt. By the end of each summer, I have several, beautiful and meditative spots here and there around my lawn.


Last summer, I made a poster, saying that I garden so that I’ll have those beautiful and meditative spots available for myself, and then I reconsidered. The spots that evolve are nice, but the real reason that I garden is much more complex. It is the act of creating those beautiful spots–it is the doing of–the process of gardening–that benefits me most–and that is a dirty business.   

We gardeners begin to enjoy gardening in about February when snow is still on the ground. That is when we begin poring through our seed catalogs and hopping from garden site to garden site on the computer.

Sprout, Bloom, Bud, Spring, Flower, Plant, Nature

Soon, shoots of greenness pierce the earth. For a true gardener, that first greenness is as beautiful as a fully decked flower shop. Then, the parade of colors begins.

First, the crocus. Then, the jonquils.

Daffodils, Yellow, Flower, Yellow Flower, Spring Flower

Then, the tulips.

Then, the iris.


Then, the foxgloves.


By that time, summer is here, the daisies and the strawberries are in. It is time to dig into the earth again and to plant the vegetables. Along with that comes the thrill of going outside each day–just to see if anything has grown even another inch. The person who pays a gardener must miss that part of the parade.


Hollyhocks and roses soon follow–and after that, the sunflowers and the pumpkins.


Gardening is one of the longest joy rides that I take, and it costs very little at all. But none of it is possible unless I get down on my hands and knees and get dirty. In my garden, I want to do the dirty work. In my opinion, the one who gets dirty is the one who gets the most joy.

©Jacki Kellum March 19, 2016



5 thoughts on “You Can’t Plant Flower Gardens without Getting A Little Dirt on Yourself

  1. Delightful to hear your lovely description – with colorful photos! – of the benefits of the dirty work of process. I see this benefit in so many areas of my life, in food preparation,, raising children, road trips, writing, drawing… Oddly enough, my post today is on that topic too. Thank you for sharing your words and the photos. 🙂


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