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

Seeds Rooted in Love

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, NJ Garden Coach and Speaker,How seeds disperse, seed dispersal, Seeds, eating dandelions

Hello Fellow Readers,

There’s a country song sung by Kathy Mattea that I adore titled Seeds, and the chorus speaks volumes starting with: “We’re all just seeds in God’s hands.” I recall singing it for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. All of the Stones gathered; their five-pack of kids, spouses, and grandkids.

a black and white phot of the lineup of five children - Mary Stone and her siblings.

a lineup of five adult children - Mary Stone and her siblings.

The Stone Five-Pack –
Rick (L), Mary, Bill, Dot, Dave

My dad loved touting that he was the Origin of the Species, although mom had much to do with it. We dined at a restaurant along the intercoastal waters and continued the party at their home in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, a home that I wish we still had to visit. But it sold after Dad passed away. Mom had begun her dementia journey and moved in with my sister in Virginia.

I can see myself standing in front of the piano, which I learned to play from Mrs. Jackson, who became “Mom J” when I grew up.

Singing acapella, “We’re all just seeds in God’s hands. We start the same, but where we land is sometimes fertile soil and sometimes sand.” So powerful.

The thing is, many plants thrive in sand, just as in heavy or clay soil. But loam soil is considered the most desirable, with its balance of silt, sand, clay, and humus.

A hand holding a volunteer oak sprout above soil.

Volunteer Oak

I think back to how mom loved to buy plants and set them in the garden spaces, and then they’d root themselves through the pots and live happily in the sandy soil. We’d garden together each time I visited, and I’d plant those I could. But sometimes, they were so deeply rooted that you could not move the plant. Maybe it was Emma’s modified, raised garden technique (smile). There’s a lesson in that- making the best of where you are and letting yourself grow accordingly.

Plants rely on transport systems.

Unlike people or animals with more freedom to seek out ideal places to live, plants rely on transport systems that evolved magically to find where they can root and thrive. After a walk with Miss Ellie in late summer and fall, I’d marvel and get frustrated over how many burrs stuck to her fur. The burrs are seeds designed to fall off their fuzzy or feathered hosts as they move along. Fewer stick to Jolee’s shorter coat, but she makes up for it in the volume of shedding; how we love our canine kids.

Critters eat the abundance of seeds inside fleshy fruits that make their way out the other end (ahem) and are still viable to sprout. Then there’re nut seeds such as acorns, walnuts, and hickory that critters store for future meals and forget about; hence the nuts become next year’s saplings.

Even ants play a role in dispersing seeds.

It’s fascinating that ants have a role in dispersing seeds with plants such as trillium and bloodroot, which have fleshy structures that provide food. Ants bring them back to their abodes, and the inedible parts germinate within the nest or where ants discard them.

A giant puff of what looks like dandelion seeds but may be allium seeds.

This Dandelion look-alike (I think an allium in seed) makes me think of dear Mom.

Of course, the wind disperses some seeds. There are maple trees (Acer) with their winged seeds and milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) along with dandelion (Taraxacum) with seeds attached to fuzzy thingies. I have a beautiful memory of dear Mom mischievously blowing dandelion seeds in defiance of those that consider these golden lawn guests a weed. You can eat all the parts of the dandelion, after all. They’re full of nutrition, more so than kale and spinach, and the greens taste like arugula- another reason to forgo chemicals on your lawn.

We are all very much alike.
Older folks, Emma Stone and Robert Stone, Mary Stones parents in front of pink flowering shrubs

Emma and Bob Stone’s 50th Anniversary vacation.

There’s a trend for folks to send saliva samples for DNA testing to find their ancestry. It turns out we are all very much alike. I suppose the health history of our lineage may be helpful, but where we are rooted now is what matters. The most important – is being rooted in the spirit of love.

My singing buddy Ken Roberts and I now sing Seeds, one of our favorites, for the patients and families at the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice. It’s neat how Seeds circled my life through the years – and how songs tend to live through us.

And it occurs to me that we all carry seeds of love and opportunity to help our dear Earth and our communities and serve others. As we become aware of it, the roots of our spirits grow. And as we shine our light within, the seeds flourish and bloom, becoming a beautiful garden that others will admire, inspiring them to see the magnificent seeds within them too.

“We’re all just seeds in God’s hands”… it’s all about love.

Garden dilemmas? (and now on your favorite Podcast App.)

There’s more to the story in the Garden Dilemmas Podcast:

Links to related stories you’ll enjoy: 

About Mom J – Mom Jackson’s Garden

The Magic of Seeds


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
  1. So Elite Reply

    Lovely piece yet again! Beautiful comparison of seeds and family tree!

    • Mary Stone Reply

      Thank you! I so appreciate you taking the time to write me (and reading my column post!), Mary Stone

  2. April Fisher Reply

    Precious sharing, Mary, Thank you as always for your wisdom and joy!

    • Mary Stone Reply

      Thank you for your kind words, April. Your support of my columns over the years means so much, Mary

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