When I planted my first community garden plot several years ago, the garden organizer suggested I plant flowers, too. I couldn’t imagine planting flowers – what a waste of space. If I couldn’t eat it, I wasn’t interested.
This year I planted my veggie garden with all the usuals – potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beets… But I spent most of my early spring gardening busting sod for new beds of… flowers.
In went daisies and coneflower, cosmos and lobelia, oenothera and columbine. I planted sedum and lamb’s ears, two varieties of baby’s breath, lupine, delphinum, and foxglove. I started violas, bachelor’s buttons, and calendula from seed in my precious, limited seed starting space. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
They’re beautiful and I love watching them bloom. Previously I couldn’t imagine taking garden space from plants with physical purpose, plants that help me survive. Beauty was a luxury I didn’t dare afford.
But this year’s obsession with flowers has visually demonstrated a major shift in my thinking. Beauty, comfort, and enjoyment are important, and I can make room for them in my life. It’s not just the flowers, but a way of thinking that embraces intangible benefits. It’s the willingness to feed my soul instead of just my body. It’s an acknowledgement that I don’t need to simply survive…
…I can thrive.