Grow Your Life: Zucchini inspired ideas from the back garden

We as humans are seeds of hope. We are full of incredible potential. We depend on each other to bloom and grow.

It’s the fresh produce season from the garden. Spinach has come and gone, and now it’s time to enjoy beans, peas, cauliflower, tomatoes, zucchini, herbs and a variety of fresh lettuce greens.

I can remember picking beans in my mother’s garden when I was 4 years old and have always had a garden to work in and enjoy ever since. Even after all these years, I am still in awe of the whole process. In the early spring, the soil is prepped, small seeds carefully tucked into the ground, and we wait as Mother Nature cares for these new babies with the warmth of the sun and rain refreshment.

Last night, I was watering the garden and took extra care to get the hose under the zucchini leaves. I spied two enormous, shiny, green zucchini. I couldn’t help but wonder how all of that fits inside a seed the size of my fingernail. As I continued to hand water, my mind drifted to all the plant species on the planet. How many different seeds does it take to populate the plant world? I became lost in my thoughts as I considered what it takes for those seeds to grow, how long it takes for some to live their full potential. Others need only a short window of time, how interconnected the plants are with every other living thing in the world and the whole life-and-death cycle that has been going on for millions of years.

As I brought my attention back to the task at hand, I smiled, knowing that we as humans are seeds of hope. We are full of incredible potential. We depend on each other to bloom and grow. We also know that we are part of the life-and-death  cycle and when we place that against the bigger picture, our time here is preciously short. As I turned the water off and hung up the hose, I smiled knowing that as we continue to nurture this earth garden and each other, it allows us to live up to our full potential and to flourish and to grow.

Elizabeth Shopland is a horticulturist for Homefront Essentials Gardening, a Certified Solution Focused Coach, author and speaker, and the owner of Banyan Tree Solutions. She can be reached at 250-342-8978 or

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