How rough can gardening students be anyway?

During last night’s organic gardening class, my students brought me down to earth.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to teach. Problem is, I always feel a little nervous at the first class with a new group of students peering at me from their desks with great anticipation. Never mind that I’ve taught the subject a dozen times, or for as many years. (How rough can a group of gardening students be anyway?) That’s just how I am.

Usually after a few minutes my shoulders relax and then I settle down. Here’s where my students came to my rescue…

garden, organic gardening, workshop, class

I gave each person a short questionnaire. It’s a way for me to get to know them, and they use the opportunity to express why they want to learn how to grow stuff. During a break, I reviewed some of their responses. Oh, sure there was the expected be more sustainable, grow more safe, healthy food, and get more exercise, but there were some sweetness, too. Even from the guys:

  • Introduce my kids to gardening
  • Be around green, growing things
  • Grow cut flowers for myself and friends
  • Grow beautiful things to photograph

I drove home around 10 o’clock and sat down with a cup of tea. So why do I like to grow stuff? Well, for lots of reasons. But you know, I’d rather hear your thoughts. I mean, surely it’s not for the love of weeding, is it?

pansies, viola, flowers, garden



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10 Responses to How rough can gardening students be anyway?

  1. Jane Seymour says:

    Hi Marion
    Every spring I seem to need to get my hands dirty and smell the earth. I also need to see green flowers pushing their way out of the ground and knowing that in about 6 weeks they will flower. Gardening helps break the spell of winter and sends me flying into planning my garden. I don’t raise veggies but I love the blossoms of spring!

    • marionowen says:

      Hi Jane, I can totally relate… there is something so very magic about plants pushing their way up. So inspiring. Do you photograph your flowers?

      • Jane Seymour says:

        Yes I do photograph my garden and any lovely flowers that I find in places like Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, Chicago Botanical Gardens and two in Wisconsin where I live. I’d love to share a couple with you–how do I attach a photo to a “reply”?

  2. marionowen says:

    Well, how’s this, Jane? Just email a few; I’d love to see them:
    Are you on Facebook or Google+ ?

  3. Patricia Lods says:

    I love to grow things. There is something about the new life bursting through the soil, the hope of a fulfilling crop or bouquet coming to life. My dad told me I was born with dirt under my fingernails. I think maybe he was right. I just get so much pleasure watching the earth produce that which we cannot live without.

    • marionowen says:

      Hi Pat — Yes, I believe you were born with dirt under your nails. So wonderful about plants — they don’t care if I’m having a bad hair day!
      Love, Marion

  4. T. Lee Stephens says:

    Marion, after the death of our son I found gardening to be restorative to my soul.
    “….in colored sorrows I smell the breath of green things on the other side of death”
    Twilight of the Sioux

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