September 17, 2022 2 min read

What does a garden mean to you?

Maybe you have a small garden, or maybe you have a large garden. Maybe you don’t even have a garden right now and look at flowers on instagram or pinterest.

But, I’m guessing a garden still means something to you. Maybe it’s the memory of your grandma, your mom or your aunt growing things to eat or to make your table beautiful. Maybe it’s your dad carefully tending the fruit trees you had when growing up or your husband completing various garden projects with and for you.

Maybe it’s the memory of going to someone else’s garden and sitting on their bench and being still. Or maybe you have a memory of sneaking raspberries from your neighbors garden (I don’t have this memory - but my grandma sure does!) Maybe you are making memories by yourself, with your husband, kids or grandkids in your garden right now.

For me, a garden is a place of restoration and renewal. A place I can go to to heal when everything else is falling apart. I place I can go to and get lost for a couple of minutes or several hours. A place where things slow down. A place where my kids can be, but here I don’t have to do the normal mom things. Here I can get my hands dirty with my kids. Here I can guide them. Here they can enjoy the soil and blooms and sun. Here they can run to the sandbox and throw sand all over, spray water all over and just be kids without the constraints of having to behave inside. Here they can eat our strawberries and carrots and cherry tomatoes before they make it inside. Here it is happy. Here it is wild, and refined all wrapped up into one. Here is inspiration. Here is feeling alive. Here is being connected to the world. Here is home.

Here is where I am going to go in my mind when my kids are all grown up and have grandkids of their own - and hopefully come to visit me - but it will never be often enough.

Here is where I am going to go when I am in my 90s and I close my eyes. I am going to go to the sun and to the garden and remember these times with a small smile and a longing in my heart for younger eyes, joints and kids. I won’t remember the weeds, I won’t remember the killed seedlings or bugs. But I will remember the warmth of the sun on my face and the feeling of getting my hands and feet dirty in the soil and the satisfaction of being part of something greater than myself.

I do hope to remember all of it, but if I don’t I will still have these artworks and I hope they somehow spark in me the same feeling that being in my garden does now. And I hope my great grandkids will bring me blooms from the same peonies I planted with my young kids two years ago. That would be awesome.

With Love,

Valerie Miller

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