The other day I was returning from my morning run, and I happened to look up towards the chimney. Something bright caught my eye and what I saw was truly remarkable. Growing from a tiny crevice in the mortar between the bricks was a yellow daisy, fully in bloom as it reached for the sun. Amazingly, one little seed had made its way into a crack from a sheer vertical face that contained just enough essential elements to get this little guy off to the right start.
How it got there I’ll never know, but I suspect from either a bird or the wind. Either way, it was yet another reminder to me at how amazing – and really how simple – gardening can be. Everything that seed needed to grow into a plant was already there. Sure, there’s plenty to learn when you really want to be an expert, but sometimes, we over-complicate the issue too. Mother Nature does a fine job of providing everything that’s needed. So, we wind up getting in the way more than we help. Overwatering comes to mind as an example of how we can often love our plants and lawns to death.
A similar moment happened one day, as I was taking pictures for one of my books. Ironically, I was looking for chimneys to photograph. Instead, my eye was drawn to a plant nearby. What made the scene so unusual was that this was a mature tomato plant, bearing fruit and growing from nothing more than a small crack in the driveway. Once again, a seed had found just enough of conditions sufficient to set roots and reach for the sky.
The homeowners so appreciated this plant’s unique achievement that they provided mulch to protect its roots, while giving plenty of room to allow the plant to continue growing. They even parked their brand new car on the street so as not to disturb this determined tomato that had claimed what would normally be car territory.
These observations were a reminder to me that we, too, should grow to the best of our ability wherever we’re planted. Even though the conditions might not seem ideal at the time – with the right attitude and determination – it’s amazing what can be accomplished, and who knows what kind of inspiration we might be along the way.