Encouragement (for Life as well as the Garden) Garden Organic Gardening

Why You’re Special/Stories/and 2 pictures

Judith, a fairly new reader emailed me in February and said, “I ran across your amazing web site and am interested in subscribing to TMG but would like to know what the fee is to subscribe,  if any,  before getting involved in the process.”

As you know, my way of gardening is very simple and easy. But in order for anyone to benefit from anything they have to first see the value in it. Judith, obviously did. And you did too; otherwise you wouldn’t still be with me.

From the emails and comments I’ve received over the years, many of you have benefited much from my experiences and consider what you have learned on this site as being “life changing”.

The fact that you stumbled onto TMG,  saw the value (especially after possibly being steeped in the conventional),  and started applying the truths that would change your life is amazing.

Why YOU’re Special

Just think about it for a minute.  Working with nature as the way to success is probably never going to appeal to the majority of folks.

Some feel that the majority is always right.  I’ve always found that in most cases the majority is always wrong.

Many stick to the conventional just to be “part of the crowd”. They find it too hard (mentally) to go against what the majority deems to be the “in” way.

Being different isn’t the easiest thing to do at times. So I totally understand.

A Happy Ending

On the other hand, if one is brave enough to look at the truth and go forward with it, the results can be wonderful.

In some cases, close friends and relatives might even recognize the great results you’re getting. Remember what Loretta said when she commented on the post I wrote about her garden?

“Everyone laughed and shook their heads in the beginning —– because they had never heard of the concept(s)…but I ignored them and I am so glad that I did. It was a lot of work in the beginning to make the garden but it was so worth it in the end. And now everyone is thinking about making their gardens like mine.”

This happy ending came about because Loretta’s relatives were close enough that they were able to see her success over the season. Even though they didn’t understand what she was doing, they saw the difference it made.

That’s not always the case.  There will probably be more, who because they don’t understand (or care) what you’re trying to do, will make various comments that are not so complimentary.

One of the Most Memorable Comments About My Garden

I think I’ve mentioned the story about the farmer whose family has delivered my straw for more than 35 years.  When delivering straw a few years back, he stood by my garden in the peak of fall harvest (peppers, tomatoes, lettuces, and a few other things) and said, “If you ever decide to have a vegetable garden, you’ll be ready to go.”

It pretty much left me speechless.  So I said not a word.

Another Story

Back in June or July, I had a lady come to pick up something. She asked to see my garden.  I kept it low key. Took her to the gate and sorta said “Here it is.” (It’s not fun to show the garden to someone who doesn’t even know what they’re looking at.)

She left.

A month later she stopped to return something.  Before she left, she asked, “Did you ever get your garden in shape?”

I couldn’t help but laugh.  My reply to her was, “My garden was never out of shape.”

It was obvious that she had had no idea what she was looking at.  I guess all that clover in paths and various cover crops growing with tomatoes, peppers and everything else looked like weeds to her.

Garden - view from entrance gate.

Garden – view from entrance gate. The plant that starts in the foreground is summer poinsetta.  It’s an annual that I allow to reseed each year and use as a natural cover crop.  Clover in the path is visible to the right, mid way up the photo. Peppers, tomatoes, and asparagus are also visible.  Picture was taken September 17.

A Real Doozy

That’s when they stand in front of my garden and/or borders and look at something I’m doing and tell me it can’t be done.

That happened a few weeks ago and I didn’t bother to point out to that person that I’d being doing it at this location for almost 18 years.

Exciting In Spite of It All

In spite of all the “funny” comments you might get from non-gardeners or conventional gardeners, gardens are exciting.  And the more you learn to work with nature the more exciting they are.

And what’s really fun is when you find a friend who knows what they’re looking at.

Lifting a bit of the clover in a path and seeing all those earthworms is thrilling only to two gardeners who know that means things are getting good down in that soil.

Final Thoughts

I hope this post made you laugh and at the same time made you know how special you are.

I enjoy writing for you and am always glad when I can help you re-think things and/or help your garden to be even more successful.

Sharing what happens in the garden with friends is so much fun. So, if you have some stories to share, and I feel sure you do, I hope you’ll leave them in a comment after the post. We’d all love to hear them.

early September back border

early September back border


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  • My interest in growing veggies really got off the ground possibly 20 years ago while volunteering at an 1800’s kitchen garden. The interest and fun in my garden has grown into something I never envisioned and those who knew me personally and my business life find unbelievable. This has been the craziest year ever for my garden for many reasons including the weather of course. It would take too long to tell about all the things that have happened some good, some bad, some just to the point of being funny but I think it has probably been the greatest learning year of all. I’m expanding my garden and next year will show how much I really learned from the opportunities this year brought. I’ve always liked being outside with nature and the opportunities to realize the beauty of it and watching things grow makes gardening fun not work.
    Happy gardening to all. Ray Kent

  • I loved your stories and it did make me laugh. We call our garden “the messy garden” so no one has any preconceived ideas about what they’re suppose to be seeing. As we learn and apply permaculture techniques the garden is becoming more natural and such a beautiful place where the birds and other creatures seem to gravitate too. It’s truly exciting.

  • “Lifting a bit of the clover in a path and seeing all those earthworms is thrilling only to two gardeners who know that means things are getting good down in that soil.” It’s simply joyful! Thank you for teaching us the JOY of gardening, Theresa!

  • I just love this post! When I am out and about in my garden, I imagine having conversations with visitors about it (though no one has ever asked). I think I would describe my garden as “controlled chaos”. Since I LOVE to keep as many volunteers as I can, I often have to work around them. I generally don’t take the trouble to transplant, unless I am certain they will take well to it. This year, I had lovely stands of lambs quarters, which I thinned over the summer until I had many plants that developed sturdy, woody stalks. I let those go to seed. I harvested what I felt I needed to, and now the birds are enjoying them. I know I will have many lambs quarters volunteers next spring, but they make a decent cover/compost crop! And I eat the young leaves, so we will have plenty of greens!

  • Theresa, love the picture of your garden entry, I think it is beautiful, so lush and healthy! My sister grew tired of my garden rather quickly last year when she was helping me pick green beans, every day. LOL My neighbor however is so impressed with what I grow in such a small space. He loves all the lettuce, peppers, tomatoes and beans I give him. He even asked me if I could show his 2 young boys where veggies came from. I invited them over and asked them if they knew what all the green fern like plants were growing in one area of my garden, they did not. Imagine their surprise when I pulled up a few carrots for them to take home for dinner. It was funny because their dad did not even believe where carrots came from. LOL I love gardening!

    So grateful for your help, book and this website.


  • HahahaI I can really relate to this! My brother (and others) thinks my garden looks “messy”! I call it “permaculture.” What really matters is that it produces 90% my veggies year-round! Would be 100% if I didn’t crave some off-season vegetables, would get busy with the little hoop structures as you do to prolong the season, or didn’t buy veggies that didn’t do so well in my garden in a particular year. I know you eat straight from your garden and don’t like to put up a lot, but black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, and Seminole pumpkins are my staples in the dead of winter. They require no processing (let the peas dry on the vine, shell, and store; wrap sweet potatoes individually in newspaper and store in a cardboard box under the bed; and just find a place in the house for the Seminole pumpkins and they will keep up to a year)!

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