Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Rewards of Gardening

Sometimes gardening brings great rewards. Oh, it's a lot of work. In the summer months, if we do not have regular rainfall, time is required for watering. Even drought-tolerate plants occasionally need water. In the winter, surprising to many, our yard can get really cold. One winter the temperature fell to 16 degrees (Fahrenheit). At those times, cold-sensitive plants must be shielded or moved. My husband and I have walked great distances toting potted plants in and out of our garden shed, and I have done load after load of laundry, washing blankets covered in dirt, leaves, and mulch.

Threadwaisted Wasp
Threadwaisted Wasp

It can become frustrating. No one wants to work outdoors when the temperatures are 97 degrees (F). My husband has carried many a heavy bucket of water into the field. There is also the weeding and trimming to do. But generally speaking, I like gardening. I love planting seeds, just to see if they come up. I find digging in the dirt a therapy; it is peaceful. I don't mind the annual fall clean-up, where dead plants are removed and the beds are returned to a more structured shape. Yes, gardening is work.

Horace's Duskywing Skipper Butterfly
Horace's Duskywing Butterfly

But gardening in the end is about the reward. It is sharing the beauty we have grown there with others. It is reaping the vegetables that we've sown. It is sitting with friends to watch the butterflies. Yet the greatest reward is all the smaller bounties that come from the garden. So much LIFE is found there. It's all the bees (who knew there were so many species?), wasps of many shapes and sizes, multiple colorful butterflies, even the crickets and grasshoppers, that I am fond of the most.

Bee on Zinnia
Bee on Zinnia

And, most especially, it is the hummingbirds! All our time and efforts come to complete fruition in the early mornings and late evenings as our two (male and female) feathered friends buzz past us, moving from flower to flower. It is then we hold our breath, willing them to stay as long as possible, that our all efforts become worth it.

Female Ruby-throat Hummingbird
Female Ruby-throat Hummingbird

If you'd like to see more of this year's garden, visit my Webshots.

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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