I’m Not a Gardener

dotting of colorI attempted a garden just a couple years ago. Well, maybe the word garden isn’t exactly correct.

I had a pot of grape tomatoes and two peppermint plants. I admit it. I’m not a gardener.

I have friends who garden and blog about it. My pal Amelia Rhodes always has produce a plenty. She’s a gardener.

She’s the kind of gardener who contends with huge rodents and doesn’t faint when she sees a tomato worm.

I, on the other hand, scream like a banshee when I see critters near the food I’m thinking about eating. True story. After tomato worms infested my tomato plant, I refused to eat anything else that grew in my yard. It just grossed me out too much.

When developing the garden theme in My Mother’s Chamomile, I had to really stretch myself. I decided that Olga, one of my characters, would tend a flower garden full of chamomile (of course), tea roses, lavender…


No tomatoes.

No nasty tomato worms.

Here’s the problem; I kill every plant. Even flowers.

Hyacinth? Killed it.

Mum? Killed it.

Irises? Kill them every year…and they keep coming back for more.

So, when I went to our local greenhouse, I was more than a little nervous for the little chamomile plant that I was about to purchase.

“Don’t worry,” said Zach, the plant guy (who I’ve known since he was 7…how’s he 20-ish now?). “This is a resilient plant. Chamomile is hard to kill.”

“Ooo. A challenge.”

I took my itty bitty pot home. Set it in full sun. Watered it regularly. And. Waited.

It bloomed, it grew. If blossomed! Well, one little flower did. After weeks, another few flowers opened. Resilient, indeed! And so sweet smelling.

The characters in My Mother’s Chamomile are strong. Not so strong that they don’t feel. They bend to the winds of pain. They rely on the waters of mercy. But they are resilient.

When I set out to write this novel, I knew that chamomile is used for its calming properties. It is a good, soothing herb. What I didn’t know was how the plant can weather all kinds of adversity.

Comfort helps to heal hearts. It also doesn’t die out at the first sign of hardship.

True mercy is a sturdy, calming garden, full of love that doesn’t quit.


Your turn! Do you garden? If so, what do you grow? If not, are you a plant killer like I am?

Have you ever been the recipient of mercy and comfort that didn’t give up? I love hearing from you!



5 Comments on “I’m Not a Gardener

  1. Love it! I love plants that are resilient! This time of year, I’m so ready to be able to grow anything!


  2. Okay so I love to garden.. I’m just not great at it yet, but I’m getting better. I got two flowers on my chamomile plant last year and then I freaked out and couldn’t make it into tea for fear that I would somehow poison myself. I’ll just stick to sleepy time. In the meantime I’ve got some expanding plans for my Victory Garden! SPRING WHERE ARE YOU?!


  3. Pingback: Thriving on Neglect | Susie Finkbeiner

  4. Pingback: Quitting. Starting Again. | Susie Finkbeiner

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