Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

Love Gardening – Love Yourself

a black and white dg overlooking a heart shaped stone amongst fry leaves and yellow Coltsfoot flowers.

Hello fellow readers, Last week’s story about personal growth with houseplants came with a struggle of self-doubt. Then came a recording by Louise Hay with an analogy to starting a garden that I hope will inspire you to love gardening and love yourself.

Early Spring Houseplant to-dos:
green leafed houseplant with tinges of maroon

Can you help me identify this mystery plant?

Our chat led me to tend to the houseplants over the weekend as the snow pounded us sideways and the winds rallied around. I cut back decaying debris, trimmed gangly stems, and added fertilizer while watering them.

It’s always best to forgo feeding houseplants from late fall to late winter and begin again as the growing season unfolds; also, the time to go up a size (pot size, that is) if plants are root-bound—meaning, too tight in the pot.

Most of us hope to stay the same size but grow internally (or spiritually) in this garden of life, bringing me to a continuum of last week’s story. We spoke about the growth that came during the decades of houseplants to finding unconditional love. But it occurs to me loving ourselves comes first.

Like a flight attendant teaches during the safety drill. How can we love (or help) someone else unless we love ourselves? And that’s not to say in an arrogant ego sort of way. But as God, or a higher power if you prefer, intended.

Starting a garden parallels learning to love yourself.

While walking Jolee, I stumbled upon a recording of Louise Hay sharing her 10 Essential Steps to Loving Yourself. Louise Hay is a legendary speaker and writer of how You Can Heal Your Life, also the title of a best-selling book (1984). She began Hay House Publishing to market her books; she was 60 then. Then began publishing others, many familiar such as Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra.

a portrait of beautiful older woman =, Louise Hay, with short blond hair and big smile.

Louise Hay: Luxvandag, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Louise shared steps like stopping self-criticism, forgiving yourself, letting the past go, being kind, and supporting yourself by asking for help. But the one that stood out includes an analogy of gardening. Stop scaring yourself— be kind and patient, rather than fearful.

‘Think of your mind as if it were a garden.”

“Think of your mind as if it were a garden. You begin with a patch of dirt. You may have a lot of brambles of self-hatred and rocks of despair, anger, and worry. An old tree called fear needs pruning. Once you get some of these things out of the way, the soil is in good shape. You add some little seeds or plants of joy and prosperity.”

Louise Hay says, “The sun shines down on it, and you water it and give it nutrients and loving attention. At first, not much seems to be happening. But you don’t stop. You keep taking care of your garden. If you are patient, the garden will grow and blossom. The same with your mind.”

You can’t rush a seed to grow.

I’ll add to Louise’s garden analogy to let Mother Nature do her part. You can’t rush a seed to grow, though scientists genetically modify them to boost performance. But GMO plants cannot make seeds that will grow into identical plants speaks volumes. Instead, choose non-GMO seeds, preferably organic, to assure they are without insecticides that can impact pollinators.

emerging skunk cabbage in snow between skis and a black and white dog overhead.

Jolee and I came upon skunk cabbage emerging through the snow.

Theres’ another step I’d like to add to Louise Hay’s great wisdom – take time to play. Before work yesterday, I took a jaunt on cross-country skis – debating whether to do so, guiltily indulging the time. But I allowed myself (and Jolee) to take in the last of the seasons’ fluff.

The glorious sunshine quickly began softening the snow, and below it were the magical early signs of spring peeking through—the sprouting daffodils and skunk cabbage, which means the black bears are soon to emerge from their long winter’s nap.

Each one of us can plant seeds of love.

The child in me felt sad for likely the last day of the ski season. But I am excited about a new season of growth. And feel the positive energy from new beginnings. Each of us, one by one, can change the negative energy around us. Each one of us can plant seeds of love.

While growing a beautiful, healthy garden may take a while and pests and diseases can drive you batty, don’t throw in the trowel. Pull the weeds of self-doubt one by one. Think of it as treating yourself as you would your very best friend. It’s as simple as that.

Garden Dilemmas? (and on your favorite Podcast App.)

Starting a garden isn’t as hard as you may think—links to Starting a No-Till Garden and Vegetable Gardening Basics. And a story about Skunk Cabbage Appeal you’ll enjoy.

There’s more to the story to enjoy on the go (or gardening :^) in Episode 48 of the podcast.

For more about Louise Hay




Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

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