I call myself an unintentional gardener. The dreams I have for my garden each year rarely yield harvest, but I always have a few surprises.
For example, one summer, I asked my sister to water while we were out of town. When I returned, the dreams were dead and the surprises were flourishing. None of the seeds I had planted had survived, but the entire garden was covered in baby tomato plants. I had planned to purchase seedlings (since I never got a sprout from seed the year before) but all of the seeds from last year’s tomatoes had decided to sprout!
I planted strawberries alongside the house. I was warned by many a friend that this was a huge mistake because strawberries are invasive and would take over my lawn. No worries about that; I’ve killed every one of the plants! Every last one.
Much to my husband’s chagrin, I compost. Turn discards into sustenance. Or at least that’s the idea…
My compost has yielded many other surprises! A butternut squash vine that reached into my bushes to grow. Pumpkins in the back landscaping, tomato plants growing from the bottom of my compost bin late in the summer. I learned that year that a bushel of green tomatoes will ripen in my basement!
My little suburban garden is always an adventure! While I have pipe-dreams of living off of my garden, I’ve learned to be grateful for whatever harvest comes my way:
Two-legged twisted carrots
Enough asparagus that each family member gets one for dinner
Abundant green beans to blanch and freeze
A whole towel’s worth of salad to bring to a family gathering that no one eats (I’m still working on forgiving them…)
Basil harvest to yield one lonely batch of pesto
Daily snack of raspberries
Unplanted surprise butternut squash hanging in landscaping
My soul is also the location of an unintentional garden:
Dreams die no matter how hard I water.
Things grow that were planted years before – things I thought were dead.
Abundance to share which others don’t value.
Unexpected surprises add joy to my life.
Tending the garden of my soul and having the same unintentional results has caused me to be grateful for whatever harvest comes and to have less fear when the trials come. I’ve seen them grow something new!