Thumbs rate pattern, gentle words

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Contemplating the thought in Thumbs down this week, we began to think of all the best gardens we know, and the people who tend them. Every one of those great gardens is the work of a gentle soul. There was not a mean streak or sharp tongue connected to them anywhere! 

Green thumbs up... looking out and back over the year as it ends, to see the big pictures and patterns otherwise missed.

Recently someone asked about an ornamental grass that hadn't prospered, and we suggested some possible reasons that species might falter in growth. Later, while in that meditative state that comes with weeding, Janet recalled that same person had asked about some pachysandra that failed to thrive. Under the energy rich, calming influence of the deep blue fall sky she thought what she hadn't as we talked about grasses.

That is, "Grasses like sun, pachysandra likes shade. Plenty of yards have both sunny and shady spots, but perhaps this person's trying to grow one or the other in the wrong site."

We discussed this and realized that each time we'd spoken to that gardener, we focused on the plant and its unique characteristics. We didn't ask about the site, or care. It could be that the site or the person who planted it is the key.

We saw we should ask more questions about the site. and care.

Green thumbs down... using violent and angry terms in describing plants and gardening. A friend who follows Buddhist teachings tells us it's not only the plants but our own souls which suffer if we are thoughtless in our use of 'rip that out of there' and 'whack that back.' "It's not your green thumb or strong back that make your garden grow," he tells me, "but a golden tongue and bending over to see the plant's point of view."