Dear friend,

The other day I got the chance to plant some sunflowers and zinnias in a raised bed at The Company. I was only outside for about forty-five minutes, but the satisfying feeling of washing dirt from under my nails and a job well done was unmistakable.

When you’re outside getting fresh air, working on a project that you know will have measurable growth in the coming days, you get to participate in the work of God’s creation. The first thing God did for Adam after He made him, was plant a garden (Genesis 2:8, 15).

Getting dirty and gardening are a simple pleasure that humanity was made for.

You get vitamin D from sunshine, fresh air and exercise.

You get to be close to creation.

But I hated getting dirty!

When I was little, my parents could barely get me outside. They like to tell me that when I was a baby and they would set me down outside, I would curl my feet away from the grass and dirt. I always freaked out whenever there were bugs around (the horror when one landed on me!), and I hated getting dirty.

Thankfully, as I grew older I’ve learned to appreciate being outside, getting dirty, and being uncomfortable. I definitely still don’t enjoy the feeling of dried dirt stuck to my fingers. But it makes washing my hands way more satisfying than an average day.

I still hate being around bugs. But I appreciate the way they interact with the environment and many of them help plants grow (like worms, ladybugs, and bees.)

That is one of the reasons I grow most of my plants indoors. I do like a good outdoor garden (hence the planting of sunflowers.) But growing plants any time of year that are self-contained in pots that I can scatter to any surface relatively near a window, is way easier for me. And seeing my spider-plant make little babies makes me happy.

But I’ve got a brown thumb!

Try a kind of plant you haven’t before. You likely haven’t found the kind of gardening that is right for you. Like I just mentioned, growing plants indoors has been most successful for me.

But for my mom, she prefers the outdoors.

In fact, for the longest time, my mom tried to grow a vegetable garden. Rabbits, bugs, and moles would ravage through it and the little bit of produce just wasn’t worth the time she spent in it. She also just didn’t really enjoy growing vegetables.

But guess what?

My mom has phenomenal landscaping all over her yard. Last year she started a long-stem flower garden and absolutely loved growing it. She was so proud when she brought in her first bouquet of the year.

If you’ve failed miserably before, try something new. It’s not the end of the world when a plant dies. You’ve just got to try again. There are tons of options like succulents, houseplants, porch gardening, flower gardens, and vegetable gardens.

What kind of planting are you going to try?


R. J. Catlin