March 2017 Letter

The View From Up Here This Month

March 2017 |

Capital M

Maybe if I had seen how busy my March was going to be, I’d have spent more time in January and February making sure I made sleep a priority.

I mean, I’ve never been really all that disciplined about keeping a regular bedtime – but just looking at the days ahead in March make me tired.

When I was a sophomore in college, I fell on the ice walking up the steps to a side door of my dormitory.  Much to my surprise, my friend Diane remembered this (isn’t this just one of the best parts of having golden oldie friends?)  She reminded me that we had been returning from a Toastmasters meeting (I started the town’s Toastmasters club – could I have been more geeky? Probably not.)  Anywho, my shoulder’s been a bother ever since – but it’s gotten much worse over the past year. 

When I went to my orthapedist, he said, “Congrats, you popped a piano string”.  As someone who had considered becoming a piano tuner at one point in my life, I thought that was a funny segway into a breaking the bad news: rotator cuff surgery.

I’ve been trying to keep my mind off it, but my shoulder is throwing a big ol’ celebration – reminding me this cannot be put off any longer.  So, March means surgery for me.

I can tell you, for a fact, that my happy place is in my southern garden – and that’s exactly where my mind is going the minute that pain block kicks in and the surgery starts.  

Deep breath.

Happy place…

– – – – – – 

Growing Gardeners

This month I’m speaking at the Schoolyard Gardens Conference at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. My breakout session is called How to Keep Kids Engaged in the Garden: Lessons from My Experiences with Student Gardeners.

If I’ve learned anything from working with students over the years it’s this: they form their own unique connection to the garden.

Back when I worked in Human Resources, we were always trying to leverage people’s strengths in order to boost performance.

I’ve found that the same principle works fabulously in the garden.

You’re artistic? Let’s make some garden art.”

You’re handy? It’s birdhouse building day!”

You don’t enjoy getting sweaty? How about taking some photos of the garden?”


If kids are to have a loving relationship with the garden, it sure works great to give kids lots of options for connection.

It is the discretionary aspects of gardening that make it such a wonderful experience: autonomy, individuality, and expression.

– – – – – – 

Last year, I was in a garden tour and nothing gives me greater pleasure than when student gardeners bring their parents to see the garden.

Certainly, it’s beautiful – but that’s not why they are there.

Of course it’s fun to show the ol’ parents what you’ve been up to – but that’s not why they are there either.

They are there because all those little projectsdirectly or indirectly related to the gardenhave bonded them to the garden. They feel that connection – and there is love at the root of that connection.

– – – – – – 

I once heard one of them tell their mother, “You will LOVE this garden.”

I smiled.

That’s when I knew for sure – I’d grown a gardener.


Well, that’s the View From Up Here for March 2017.

Still growing...

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
Join the Still Growing Listener Community on Facebook! Click here

Leave a Comment