Nurturing in the Dirt

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”

– Alfred Austin


I started volunteering again at Loaves and Fishes of Appleton – the place where, pre-pandemic, I helped serve meals to community members in need. They continued to provide bagged meals as a drive-up service beginning in March, 2020, but I have stayed away from serving in that capacity. Itching to help again after being fully vaccinated, I volunteered to assist in taking care of flowers in their garden through the summer months. Watering and dead-heading twice a week, weeding elsewhere as needed and requested. It gets me up and out of the house in the morning and feeds my soul, as do the flowers on the patio. The raised beds in the photo above are planted with vegetables, herbs and strawberries, and taken care of by other volunteers willing to be completely responsible for watering, weeding and making things grow. Flowers are in pots and planters off to the side of these plots.

Following are a few additional photos of the Loaves and Fishes garden, a bit of commentary and perhaps a photo or two from my patio. It’s going to be a glorious, colorful summer!

A box of sun-baked petunias. If I could grow them at home, I’d want the red and yellow ones.
I used to know these, but it’s been awhile. I just call them “pretties.”
Someone is growing a nice bunch of chives.
This guy looked a little lonely last Thursday, but by Saturday, he was surrounded by green growing friends.
The boxed half of the garden is Loaves & Fishes. The rest is community gardening through St. Therese Parish, except for a small plot of potatoes that L&F is tending.
The main patio is looking lovely with this pot of coleus and a sprig of parsley.
The new variety of begonia is growing like a weed, but has produced only one pink flower so far. I’m hoping that I’ll see more buds soon because it would be a shame if this is all I get.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-20-1linerweds-badge.jpg

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21 responses to Nurturing in the Dirt

  1. Dan Antion says:

    What a great way to get outside and help others. You’re a good person, Mary J. I hope you get tons of blossoms, and I look forward to seeing the plants under your care as they thrive.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      The watering is a little tough this week with the heat. I’ll be heading out soon to take care of that before it’s 90F in the sun. Next year, I would like to be part of the planting of the flowers, if that’s possible.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanks Ally. Yes, Loaves and Fishes has done a lot of good for the community. It’s a great organization!

  2. lois says:

    Your Loaves and Fishes is so much bigger than ours! Volunteering is a wonderful thing–good for you, Mary. May these gardens be bountiful.

  3. JoAnna says:

    “I just call them “pretties.” ” sounds good to me! It’s so cool how volunteering and digging in the dirt give us energy. I feel something similar painting community murals. But there’s special magic in the dirt.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I’m one of those people that loves to dig in the dirt without gloves…to feel the earth. That is magic!
      It’s cool that you are painting community murals. I enjoy the ones in Appleton, it adds more of that magic. 🙂

      • JoAnna says:

        I only use gloves if I’m carrying thorny sticks and stems. As far as the murals go – it’s lots of fun and blank walls bother me.

  4. murisopsis says:

    A wonderful set up with the raised beds! I’m glad things are getting back to a new normal! Getting out and playing with plants is a surefire way to enjoy life!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      This has me thinking about finding a plot of my own next year in order to start growing perennials, chard and beets. But that depends on how much dedication and time I could put into it.

  5. Since we live in the country, the grass is wild and varied and often the soil is hard as a rock. So this year we bought two above ground gardens. I’m not much of a gardener/weeder, but the few things we planted are taking off like crazy! Wait till I show you the giant sunflowers! I love these gardens!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Oh, I love sunflowers, along with coneflowers, daisies, etc. I’m anxious to see how your garden grows and I hope it continues to grow well!

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