P80131So the spelling is a bit . . . off. Ignore the ‘E’ before ‘If’ and the ‘n’ after ‘grow’. They are crossed out . . . sort of. ‘wont’ means ‘want’. ‘haf’ means ‘have’, as in ‘have to’ or ‘need to’. It made sense at the time, more than four decades ago. Perhaps I should rephrase it.

If you want your garden to grow, you must talk to it.

You must talk to your garden in order for it to grow.

Your garden requires regular discourse for healthy growth.

This concept dates from a time of big Boston ferns and spider plants suspended by coarse macrame with big wooden beads. Coleus and rubber tree were popular house plants too. Remember terrariums? There were big flowered daisies, tam junipers and big petunias in the yard. A group of three European white birches was cool, as if it was somehow unique . . . even though everyone else was doing it too.

Some people believed that gardens and houseplants were healthier if they were regularly engaged in conversation. Some of us would say that this is true only because those who talk to their gardens and houseplants are more involved with them, and are therefore more attentive to their needs. That makes sense. Otherwise, the theory has been neither confirmed or disproved by any reliably documented data.

I do not need data. My gardens did quite well with this technique. So did many of the annuals, perennials and trees I got to plant back then. The little disfigured Monterey pine that I met on my way to school ( https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/new-year-old-school/ ) is still doing well, long after all the others that I did not converse with are gone.

30 thoughts on “If you want your garden to grow, you have to talk to it.

  1. My father’s in law lived in a neighboring property which looked down a hill to ours and could watch me as I gardened. He used to tease me about the conversations is witnessed as I “played in my gardens”. Thanks for the memory. I continue to discuss the details of the day with all my plants.

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  2. Talking to your garden guarantees your full interaction with and attention to everything going on there. Plus I worked in mental health for many years, and can tell you it’s perfectly ok. Your neighbors may think you’re crazy, but you know it’s just that you’re fully in touch with the earth.

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  3. Ha! I blush at the number of times I added a little grouping of birch trees to landscape designs in the 70’s! And the astounding number of house plants (including, of course, spider plants and boston ferns!) I had to talk to in those days as well… Love that you managed to hang on to that cute little”illustrated” note… (I’m guessing some loving grown-up may have had something to do with that?…)

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    1. After working with so many arborists for so long, I do not think this sounds totally far fetched. My colleagues often tell me of how they commune with some of the older trees that they work on, and how difficult it is to explain the experience on human terms. I think that if there was not ‘something’ going on with them, we would not be as fascinated with them as we are.

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