Adventures in Imperfection

Grow, Baby, Grow (Almost Wordless Wednesday)

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over and whispers “Grow Grow” ~The Talmud


Every year, I endeavor to tease life from green monogrammed Burpee seed packets. After I shared a personal essay about growing plants, Christy sent me the angel quote–a magnet that used to set on her mom’s refrigerator. Her gentle insight and perfect words set the mood for an entire Saturday of sanitizing pots, potting soil, graph paper, and happy hibernation in the pre-dawn of spring.

This process gives me joy. Seeds in the palm calm my heart while the anticipation of what happens next quickens my breath. But with this elation, comes a quiet sense of self-doubt–bordering on brooding and a foreboding of failure.

I can’t believe these little capsules will grow. Grow, baby, grow! 

Snapdragon pellets

There’s no way I’m doing this right. 

Grow, Baby, Grow Mamamickterry
Heirloom tomatoes

Did I press too hard?

Not hard enough? 

Is it too soon? Shouldn’t I wait?

Grow, Baby, Grow
It’s like San Diego in here!

Then, after three short days of waiting, I am rewarded with God’s annual message.

Grow, Baby, Grow
Three days = Three baby chrysanthemums

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping its dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air.

Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.

~~Tupac Shakur The Rose That Grew from Concrete

Grow, baby, Grow
My fallen angel

Thank you for spending this quiet time with me today. If you need to find me, I’ll be hibernating in my greenhouse for the next 6-8 weeks. xo

79 thoughts on “Grow, Baby, Grow (Almost Wordless Wednesday)

  1. Oh goodness…I’m one of those hopeless people with a black thumb…you know, one of those where the teacher sends home the simplest plant in the world to grow and then a couple of days later mommy has to tell baby not to bother watering anymore. How do you do it? And by that I mean, get the dirt out from under those long fingernails…or maybe garden and still keep your nails so well manicured. Love the chainsaw pic. I need one of me like that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You DO need that chainsaw, Marissa! It’s my therapy. I even shared with my boss that there are times I will go to my woods in between teleconferences and saw down trees – it keeps me quiet when I start to get cranky.
      As for the fingernails…you are looking at a very rare manicure. Because I dig in the dirt so much, my nails are a mess. Because my job requires that I meet with executive level people, I had to get a manicure a couple of weeks ago to hide the nail tears and dirt. Not even kidding. In fact, if you look at one of the gallery pictures closer you’ll see that the thumbnail is broken down to the skin again.
      And, as for the “black thumb”…I have one, too. I just know which plants are more susceptible to that black thumb disease–over 40 years of trial and error!


      1. Well, I’m impressed either way!
        Wow, you must be a high level executive to need a manicure to impress your clients. I bet they would scoff at my chipped grape poor excuse for a manicure.
        As for the chainsaw…I don’t know if me and a chainsaw would make the best team. I could imagine myself doing more damage than I ever intended.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lol! I am SO not a high level exec–I just provide service to people who are. In fact, I use to not worry about my nails until I had a very genteel southern woman pull me aside to speak to me about my hands. I was mortified.
        Takes all kinds I guess…I would love your chipped grape polish – purple is my favorite color.


  2. love this…living vicariously through your pics and little budding seedlings!
    I only miss my house when i think of gardening. I have some cacti on the balcony, but it’s not the same. IF El Nino had appeared as promised perhaps I could have justified watering some real flowers in my pots, but…
    I do have daffodils in my apartment, reminding me that it’s spring…that’ll do for now.
    Please keep posting these…I’ll be watching and vicariously gardening!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your daffodils and Christy’s quote sprouted the idea for this post. I’m still trying to decided which part I like better –the showy outcome, or the humble process. I think you know me well enough to know which it is. You’ve taught me well. xo


      1. Currently, I’ve inherited my mother’s garden, which is quite fully populated after she worked on it for about 30 years. So, lots of things, perennials, come up on their own – Hostas, Day-lilies, more Hostas (She really liked them and they are very happy here.), and such. My main jobs with it are trying to identify weeds and keeping Blackberries in check (there is no winning against them, but a stalemate is possible).

        Liked by 1 person

  3. For anyone reading comments, the following is from my sweet mama. It brought tears to my eyes and I got her permission to share it here:

    Read your beautiful post this morning, right after my morning prayers. It was interesting that I was reading Matthew 13. The parable about the seeds and sowers. I see you through your posts as the seed God has sown, growing into a beautiful rose.
    I was so much like you at your age and I finally realized that God granted me good soil and nourishment that I may grow closer to Him. In that, I feel truly blessed. And I like that you are anticipating spring, pruning, planting, and painting to make everything fresh and glorious and making sure I keep my soul in the same vein.
    Today is the anniversary of mom’s death and I still miss her a lot. I never appreciated her enough. She laid the foundation of good soil.
    Have fun today. I love you. I can’t wait to get planting 🙂 ~~Mom

    Liked by 4 people

    1. ❤ Also from Matthew 13:31
      He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field."

      which ties to one of my favorites: Matthew 17:20
      He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

      Faith the size of a mustard seed…You remember me writing about that, don't you? In my "It's Not a Shrine" piece. My mom passed in March also. My warmest thoughts to you and your lovely mother today.

      I love how the Universe sets certain dominoes in place and shows us how everything comes full circle, everything is connected to everything else. Some of us are just late bloomers, but what is faith if not for conviction of things unseen. Have faith in your seedlings, Michelle. Love this post so much. Love YOU so much. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I DO remember that. I have chills as the recollection passes through. Oh my goodness! Don’t you love the universal ponytail yanks??
        Thank you SO much for this comment, for reading my ramblings, for sending me your angel thoughts, and for your constant faith in me and our friendship.
        LOVE YOU! xo


  4. Oooo! Love, love, love this post! I love the anticipation, the miracle of the creation process, and the photos (can definitely relate to that brush pile). I’ll let you do all the hard gardening work this year. I’ve given up on trying to raise veggies here (at least for a while), after fighting wet, fungus, slugs, earwigs, slugs and slugs. Even in a raised bed (18″ tall!) much of what I planted was decimated by slugs year after year. My gardening this year will be battling knotweed and buttercup; both horrendously invasive weeds around here.

    Although, I do have plans for one area in particular, that has been in transition for almost 2 years now. Maybe this year will be the time to complete it. It’s a triangle, about 20 ft. on the 2 longer sides, with a handful of large ferns left in it. I will keep 2 or 3 ferns in one corner (near the basketball hoop – ferns are completely indestructible), and create a spiral with lavenders within the triangle. I’ll probably have small low maintenance bushes in the other 2 corners. And since my heather has done well in that spot, it stays (and I might get more). The only plants I will introduce here are ones that are proven in my yard: ones that slugs and deer don’t eat, and survive the climate.

    Almost time to get outside with my chainsaw, lopping shears, and boots!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can I come play at your house, Susan?? Lavender, heather…sigh. I love huge fields of lavender as I only have a 2×2 spot for it. Buttercup? I need to look that up. Even though it’s invasive, it sounds so sweet.
      We have slugs, too…yuck! I guess it’s all part of the process and ecosystem, right?
      I meant to get over to visit your site today…I’ll be over soon. Shall I bring my chainsaw? xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your turn for Spring Michelle, we have just had our first light morning fog. Change into Autumn has just begun here in Australia. It’s still into the 90’s by day but they are now starting to lose that humidity. My turn to snuggle with a fire roaring in the winter….just wish I had a fireplace 😀
    Your preparations are looking beautiful (bar the damaged thumb 🙂 ), and the poor bunny, maybe you can hire him with your chainsaw to cut down the overgrowth in return for the odd carrot 🙂
    And you may have to do something about that poor back if your going to stay in that position for 5 months. I’m a Massage Therapist, maybe I should send over some instructions for hubby to untangle the muscles from each day working in the garden 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mark! You KNEW I thought of you as I wrote this post, right? It fascinates me to know you’re heading into fall and flowing into winter just as we are shedding our winter blankets. Pretty cool how the earth’s axis keeps us connected and revolving.
      Ah…a massage. Divine. I’ll admit (and hubby knows this)…I’m not very good at laying still long enough to get those kinks worked out. That said, I am getting older and the thought becomes more appealing with each completed trip around the sun.
      Enjoy your autumn, Mark…I’ll send blossoms your way. Namaste 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Might have to shackle you to a bed, so he can keep that body still 😀
        I think you may be one of these people that prefer to meditate while jogging at a thousand miles an hour….that constant rhythm of the run 🙂
        Blossoms gratefully accepted Michelle, may there be many in your coming summer (if the rabbit sticks to his job in the weeds section 😀 )

        Liked by 1 person

  6. The Spring brings for new life. It seems to be the favorite time of year for most people. I love it too! Everything down here is budding out.. ACHOO! *sniff* , and the fruitless trees have blooms all over them AAAAACHOO! *sniff sniff* and the daffodils are up and …. it’s all beautiful! *Hooooonk!* *sniff* But I love the fact you have a greenhouse you can enjoy! New life is awesome! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you!! My hay fever isn’t horrible, but it certainly is a nuisance this time of year! :-/
        But I still love to see all the new life… it’s so cool!
        *side-note* hubby’s birthday falls on Easter Sunday this year! Isn’t that cool??? 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. How satisfying it must be to make things grow. I don’t have a green thumb, and gardening has never interested me. I suppose if I tried it and saw the fruit for my labor, I’d start to enjoy it. But then there’s that worm thing…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Give it up Carrie – remember Mama swings a mean chainsaw and if she says worms rule….then they rule. YEAH WORMS!! (see how that’s done, ya gotta placate ’em – the ones with chainsaws, that is, not the worms.)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello beautiful friend!
      You have specific growing hymns?!?
      I actually play music when I’m planting, and wished for such songs. I landed on classical. Would love it if you shared your hymns (unless, they are sacred and personal of course)
      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I always love seeing you here 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not specific ones, but I do tend to give the plants their “special time” by just singing something special for them, with improvised lyrics that praise them 🙂 I also love to play them music, Bach being my number one choice 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Gorgeous photos!! I had to laugh at your photo with the caption: “The dirt under my nails is the best part.” That is the biggest reason I DON’T garden. I cannot abide the feel of dirt under my nails. It’s a sensory issue with me. (I have a LOT of sensory issues.)

    I do admire gardeners, though. You all lay beautiful like a carpet at our feet. Thank you for that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The dirt and bugs used to bother me…now, I welcome both. Unless they are bad bugs, of course 😉
      Thank you for your kind words, Mary. You always brighten my day 🙂


  9. I respect your enthusiasm. You obviously have a green thumb. I like the concept of gardening but I’m less enthusiastic about the dirt.

    Love your pictures though. They make me long for a talent and passion I’ll never have 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwww….thank you, Joanne. I definitely have the passion…the jury is still out on the talent.
      I have accidentally killed more than I’ve raised. Hoping that my advancing years will continue to even out that score 🙂
      Love seeing you here! I’ll be over to visit very soon 🙂


  10. I envy yous guys and your talents when it comes to teasing life out of these teensy weensy seeds. The only time I have a green thumb is when I’ve been using a green Sharpie . . and I mean it, I get a really green thumb. Which, I guess, it’s better that it bleeds onto my thumb than when I put it in my pants pocket. So there’s that.

    I love the quotes too.

    It seems like an immensely peaceful endeavor, for you. I’ve tried my hand a few times and I didn’t achieve the peace. Bee stings? Yes. Poison ivy? Yep. Neighbors who want to tell me about their lives even when i’m not asking? Absolutely.

    Peace to you sistah. Tease those seeds to life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve had bee stings and poison ivy, too. All part of the journey. Except the bee up the nose…that wasn’t so great!
      It IS an immensely peaceful endeavor. You spoke about your abuelita this morning. My grandma was my horticultural influence. Had my first garden at 7 and followed her around relentlessly trying to soak up some of her green thumb. My dad and grandpa’s were (are) all farmers. It gets in your blood, under your nails and never goes away. I missed my calling on that front…but, I guess everything happens for a reason. I may not enjoy it as much if it were my livelihood.
      Thanks for hanging with me this morning. Gotta figure out how I’m going to tackle the real world today when all I wanna do is go play in the dirt 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ‘go play in the dirt’…I can see it now 😀
        Actually very heartfelt Michelle, I emphasize your journey, many farmers in my lot too, it does get in your blood 🙂
        My apologies Caymen for butting in here, but the words from the chainsaw angel touched me 🙂


    1. Bahahaha! Perfect goddess?!? I reek of self-doubt and endless worries. So weird…even while I was placing the seeds into the dirt, I caught myself holding my breath…and tense…the whole time thinking…ain’t no way these little things will grow. I turn 50 next year – maybe I’ll learn by then 😉


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