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Growing your garden
Happy Friday, everyone.
Spring is in the air, and like many of you, I decided to break earth. My gardening project has been a big undertaking—I hadn’t fully grasped how many pieces need to come together to establish a thriving garden. I’ve immersed myself in soil composition, watering techniques for improved drought tolerance, and in countless varieties of native agave plants. I’ve been digging a lot of holes, and schlepping heaps of rock.
There have been moments challenging enough to make me question deep down why I’m even bothering with the whole effort. And I keep coming back to a simple answer: it brings me joy.
Often while I’m out there, I’m reminded of our classrooms. To start, the way in which Montessori incorporates plant care from an early age to cultivate empathy and teach even the smallest humans that caring for living things is important.
But mainly, I’m reminded of the role of the Montessori guide.
Montessori’s concept of the role of the adult—to curate and prepare the environment, to dedicatedly observe and follow the child—is in many ways like the role of the gardener. In both cases, creating the right conditions in the environment, and diligently tending to them, will bring so much beauty and joy. Just like in our classrooms, things can get messy! Mistakes are bound to happen—too much attention can be as harmful as too little. But a committed gardener, even a novice one, will learn from these mistakes and thoughtfully adapt her approach.
There have been distinct phases in my gardening project, but it’s not something that truly ends. Life goes on, and the garden grows. New challenges emerge that require new research and remind me how little I genuinely understand. This is simply the nature of the craft. What brings me joy is not just pausing to admire the beauty around me that I’ve helped to create. It’s also the work of active reinvention and problem-solving that keeps me continually engaged.
You may not be a gardener. But I smile thinking that we are all growing our own types of gardens, in one way or another.
Enjoy the fresh air,