Tend the Roses

As special needs parents, we care for people daily and have added responsibilities. We generally don’t want to add more chores around the house. But hear me out. I would submit we also tend to something else besides caring for our loved ones, something that grows and brings life to our homes in other ways. I never thought I would be talking to special needs parents about plants and gardening, but here I am. I want you to get a plant, grow a veggie, or tend a rose bush.

We don’t need to plant a yard-sized garden that requires hours of weeding. It may be one plant that sits on the kitchen window sill. It may be one rose bush that climbs the back fence. In the summer months, it may be two tomato plants. It may be a cactus on the back porch.

Plants have a way of calling our attention to the present. We notice it needs water or enjoy the daily soothing rhythm of checking on it. We may look forward to seeing it each morning as we drink coffee or walk to our mailbox. Is that a new bloom?

If it dies, buy another. Buy something different. Experimentation is part of the fun. Have a house plant all year around, add mums by the front door in the fall, or plant a new perennial for summer blooms. Waiting for plants expectingly to bloom and grow is an excellent exercise in living with ongoing hope.

The tending work is beneficial too. We may not look forward to pruning the bush or watering, but it’s good for us. It may get us outside or a little added sunshine. Even during fall pruning, we start looking to spring blooms. There is something therapeutic about participating in the changing seasons. It grounds us in the present and helps us look forward all at the same time.

Am I suggesting just another hobby? –Gardening is a hobby for some, and hobbies are good for us to rest our minds and take breaks from responsibilities, but gardening or enjoying flowers is different from other hobbies. It brings added life, beauty, and growth to our living spaces.

It can be a family activity or just for you. Start small and enjoy the process.

Image of a Rose