Spreading joy from a garden I grow

by Liz Johnson, board treasurer

Serving as a board treasurer doesn’t allow for as many opportunities to attend Hope Blooms volunteer events as I would like, so I wanted to find another way to put my garden gloves on and get my hands dirty (because really my hands get just as dirty with the gloves on).

The mix of having a newly landscaped yard with a raised box of dirt begging for attention and the idea of hosting a future Hope Blooms board meeting at sunset where we could pick flowers and make arrangements were the motivation for my trip to Fleet Farm to buy flowers.

My newly planted garden this spring.

At first I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to plant vegetables or flowers or a mix of both – but this vision helped narrow it down to flower aisles. I grew up gardening in the summers with my Mom. I got to tag along to the best nurseries and also had a special area in the garden to call my own. I seemed to always plant flowers.

Often I find myself buying fresh flowers to have around the house too, so the choice to avoid vegetables seemed natural. However, I did come across some herbs, and they ended up in the cart, too.

I tilled the soil, planted the flowers and gave them a big drink of water. I photographed my masterpiece at sunset and continue to check on the flowers daily. Initially, the mix of gusty winds that blow through our yard and a morning or two of 40 degree temps didn’t help the garden grow overnight.

Of course, I assumed that after all of the hard work, if I was really patient and waited a whole week or two, it would be a masterpiece of full blooms with amazing smells ready to fill multiple bouquets.

My garden in full bloom.

Days later, the garden looked worse. I kind of forgot about all of the time and attention a garden requires, as well as things you can’t control like the weather. A garden takes time, attention and most of all, patience, just as tending to our budding non-profit does.

The first bouquet harvested from my very own garden.

Even with a few setbacks, my garden eventually bloomed. I look forward to continuing to learn, grow and give from my garden.

Because that’s what life is all about – finding ways to navigate the twists and turns life hands you and still finding a way to sow joy. I still plan to host that meeting at sunset, even if we can only harvest a few bouquets, and spreading joy from a garden I grow.

If you are blessed with thumbs greener than mine, perhaps you can share the beauty of hand-picked flowers from your garden with Hope Blooms. Or if gardening isn’t your forte, consider lending a hand through volunteering or financial support. One small act of kindness to blossom into so much more for those who need extra hope, joy and comfort in our community.