The Giving and Receiving of Gardens

Healthy Planet Fall Pumpkins Linda Wiggen Kraft

By Linda Wiggen Kraft,
Healthy Planet Green & Growing Editor

The garden gives and we receive. As the garden year shifts from the time of harvest and abundance, to the time of garden rest, it is time for giving to our gardens so they can receive an abundance of our feelings of gratitude and love. It is time for gardens to receive a loving mindfulness in our caring for them. 

What gardens give us and we receive is a list of treasures and inspirations too long to print. There is the beauty of flowers and plants that nurture our souls, and the bounty that nourishes our bodies. The miracle of a blossom that opens our hearts and calls to the bees, birds and insects to come and take the nectar, pollen and seeds that each blossom shares. The sweet taste of fruit that is part of that blossom’s life that takes away our hunger and brings joy to our bodies. 

In this traditional time of giving thanks and gratitude we can give to our gardens in mindful ways. Often time spent in gardens is distracted time. Although we can’t be watching a screen while gardening, we have our own inner screens of distracted thoughts and images. The lists of to-do tasks, the event from the past that plays over and over, the upcoming obligations that we are thinking about. All these not-in-the-present thoughts distract us from the beauty of the garden. Let time spent in the garden, from leisure walks to pulling weeds, be a time of being in-the-present. The Buddhist concept of “beginners mind” where being in the moment as if for the very first time lets us see with fresh eyes and fresh senses. It allows us to receive the beauty of a garden with all our being. That open aliveness also allows our feelings of gratitude and love to flow into the garden. Pause for a short or long time and let yourself give to the garden and let it receive.

Be mindful of all a garden is when giving thanks. A garden starts way deep in the earth with the soil that nurtures the growing plants. A garden extends to the sky. All life from the smallest molecule in the soil to the infinity of the sky is part of the garden. A garden has ancestors and futures. Plants come mainly from seeds, some with a lineage to prehistory. Gardeners of the past have nurtured lives through the seeds that live with us now. These seeds will nurture and feed not just future generations of people but all the life that depends on the gardens of earth. 

There are other ways to also give thanks to gardens. Write your thoughts about your garden, create a poem or make a list of things you are grateful for because of your garden. List not only the physical things you are given, but the emotional enrichments and soul enhancements as well. Share these words with your garden, sending love as you read them aloud or softly in your heart. 

Follow Linda Wiggen Kraft’s art and garden work on her blog, newsletter and Instagram through her website www.CreativityForTheSoul.com. There you can see her Gardens for the Soul, Mandalas, Mandala Workshops, Creativity Journeys, Nature Journey Workshops and more. Call her at 314 504-4266.