Posted by: penpatience | May 1, 2018


WRITERS WORDS: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” –Cicero, Roman Philosopher





The birds are back. I heard the varied trills, tweets and calls in nearby trees and bushes along with melting snows and the emergence of perennial blooms pushing up through damp earth. I mused if Mrs. Robin might rebuild her nest underneath my deck again this year. I still recall watching three babies take flight abandoning the now unnecessary abode.

“April showers that bring May flowers” didn’t quite happen as it should this year. The winter thaw in upstate New York has been slower than normal complete with teasing temperatures fluctuating up and down with frustrated residents more than ready to trade snowshoes for sandals. However, very soon in this month of May, if you’re a rabid gardener like me, the call to the outdoors cannot be denied.

It’s time to watch tulips and daffodils bloom and the emergence of day lilies and other spring perennials. Time to plan for planting new species, replace non-surviving plants and dig out the dratted working tools—rakes, shovels, mowers and my beloved garden trowel, an all-purpose tool that’s been my do-all buddy for too many years to count. The trowel and I have both aged. The trowel’s wood handle is worn but the blade still sharp with its owner also worn and hopefully just as sharp:)

If you’ve taken the opportunity to read my “About Me” page, you’ll know that two of my three passions are Writing and Gardening (Golf has temporarily migrated to third place passion).  Well, conflict is not new to writers or gardeners. I recall a statement I read by James Scott Bell, Author of “Just Write” ( and other self-help writer publications: “without conflict there is no story.”  Ah yes, there is conflict in my life this spring. I need, want and must be happily working in my small gardens. BUT, I have already fallen hopelessly behind on writing projects in this New Year, 2018. And what about that first Novella I planned to begin? Add in family and social activities – Yikes!

Always a habitual planner, you’d think the solution would be easy- Nada!  There are times when I follow a whim and “Just do it!” as Nike often intones. It’s difficult to choose between your passions under the best of circumstances but when time constraints must be considered a resolution becomes more complex. And then– an AHA moment occurred. The light bulb in my head lit up!

A few years ago a romance short story titled, “When the Lilacs Bloom,” was published in December 2014 (The Storyteller Magazine) and a narrative non-fiction essay in November 2014 titled, “Throwing in the Trowel” (Mary Jane Farms Magazine).  Perhaps it’s again time to combine my two loves: writing and gardening.

BINGO! My mind raced ahead to a favorite environmental place, The Pine Bush, a National Natural Landmark and Environmental Discovery Center located almost in my back yard.  The writing juices are tentatively flowing. Should I write Creative non-fiction, a mystery fiction short story or an article yet to be determined–so many possibilities! Throw in a heavy dose of self- discipline to insure both outdoor and writing passions are fairly shared in upcoming months–conflict resolved.

Dear Readers, located in my front garden for many years is a weathered wrought-iron garden stake with a lovely poem inscribed on it. It’s a beautiful reminder of blending two loves– writing and gardening:

The Kiss of the Sun for Pardon

The Song of the Birds for Mirth

One is nearer God’s heart in a Garden

Than anywhere else on earth

                        –Dorothy Frances Gurney





  1. I hear ya about the conflict! We’ve had such a run of winter, maybe spring, nope still winter, maybe spring, nope still winter damn it and here’s a blizzard to prove it, and finally yes spring! I’m eager as well to get out and get dirty, but I am also far behind on writing projects, especially my edits. Here’s to getting more done this month 😀


  2. Hi Julie, thanks for sharing. It’s 80 degrees in upstate NY today:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Frances, I finally got to read this! Subsequent emails pushed it down the line but fortunately I ‘starred’ it and was able to find it again.

    We are kindred in our love of gardening and someday I hope writing accomplishments move to the top three. So far it’s a desire and not a passion. Great story! I look forward to them!


    • Thanks Pat. Glad you enjoyed the Musing.


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