‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ “Green Fingers”

“If you wish to make anything grow, you must understand it, and understand it in a very real sense. ‘Green fingers’ are a fact, and a mystery only to the unpracticed. But green fingers are the extensions of a verdant heart.” ~ Russell Page

Good Sunday morning, beautiful souls.  I do hope this finds everyone continuing to be well.   

“At the heart of gardening there is a belief in the miraculous.” ~ Mirabel Osler

This week, as I was going through my many pages of quotes and writings, I came across the opening quote by Russel Page.  About gardening and “green fingers.”  I had to laugh and it gave me a great memory of my dear mom.  As many of you may know, mom was an avid gardener, and a talented one as well.  She once had a friend who was visiting her garden say, “Louise, I do believe you could put a broom handle in the ground and it would sprout and grow.”  Mom and I laughed over those words many times.

Narcissus, Rip van Winkle (double heirloom)

But, as you might imagine, there is more to this story.  Now, the virus hasn’t caused me to take leave of my senses and I know it is a bit early to be thinking of spring blooms.  However, let me explain.  In the very early spring of this year, probably mid-March, Mike and I were in the garden and were looking for a daffodil we knew we needed to move because it was not getting enough sun, which should have been done last fall.  This daffodil is special to us as it had been on his grandparent’s farm in Pennsylvania.  The daffodil is named Rip van Winkle, an heirloom daffodil.  ‘Rip,’ as we call him, takes a little getting used to, but he does grow on you and has gorgeous green shading.  He looks like someone who is having a really bad hair day.  Anyway, on this spring day, good fortune was with us and we found Rip.  I reached down to put a stick in the ground marking its location and came into the house and didn’t give Rip another thought. 

A new Annabelle hydrangea marking daffodil, Rip van Winkle.

Until, one nice warm April day Mike came into the house and said, “Sandra, you are certainly your mother’s daughter.”  Of course, I wanted to know what prompted that remark and so he replied, “Remember that stick you put in the ground to mark the location of Rip?”  “It was a broken hydrangea stick and it has leaves coming from it and it has taken root.”  We both laughed and off to the garden we went to inspect the ‘stick.’  Now, I couldn’t have started a hydrangea using this method if I had tried, but there it was, a new Annabelle hydrangea with leaves and it was taking root.  

Annabelle hydrangeas in our garden.

“My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view.” ~ H. Fred Ale

Nikko Blue Hydrangeas in our garden, just beginning to turn blue.

Do I believe there are folks with green fingers or green thumbs?  Perhaps, I’m not certain.  But I do believe there are folks who, have suffered the loss of treasured plants, outwitted all sorts of destructive creatures,  endured the wrath of Mother Nature, and even with all of this,  pushed on to become outstanding gardeners.  Why does one pursue such madness?  It is all about the love of beauty and the feeling one has when they have a hand in bringing such beauty to life.  It is the enormous sense of satisfaction that one receives from being rewarded by their hours of work and care, and it is the magnificent peace one has while in the garden.  It is also about memories that will last a lifetime.

“I have found, through years of practice, that people garden in order to make something grow; to interact with nature; to share, to find sanctuary, to heal, to honor the earth, to leave a mark.  Through gardening, we feel whole as we make our personal work of art upon our land.” ~ Julie Moir Messervy

Poppies from France, blooming in our garden.



Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit.  Know I wish you and yours a beautiful day.


May your week ahead be filled with lovely moments and kind people.




Note:  Should you have a fondness for the Rip van Winkle daffodil he is available through Old House Gardens which specializes in heirloom bulbs and plants.

Images:  Michael S. Lambiotte, tumblr, Old House Gardens Catalogue

16 thoughts on “‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ “Green Fingers”

  1. Such a beautiful story. I hope I can succeed with some starts from my treasured plants.

    1. Dear Lu, you will succeed. Plants do love the heat and humidity of the south. So many will miss you, but thanks to technology we can stay in touch. Thanks so much for your visit this morning and for taking the time to comment. Wishing you a beautiful day, dear one.❤

  2. Sandra,I enjoyed learning about the Rip van Winkle daffodil. I had never seen one. The story of the stick marker sprouting is funny and none of us will forget it!
    Your quotes were encouraging. I have had some failures this year with my lawn(moles have wrecked havoc) and the last two freezes really did a number on my hydrangeas. But,I am thankful for my garden and it gives me joy. But I am in physical therapy for a lengthy time of pruning. Next year that job will have to be hired out.
    Have a great day.

    1. Good morning, Bonnie. I certainly sympathize with you about the moles. We had them in Virginia and they were dreadful. They wrecked our lawn, destroyed lilies, and other numerous things. But, they did not like our black Labrador retriever, Merry. She would dig them out. Which created holes to fill.

      I was quite surprised about our Nikko Blue hydrangeas this year. After our snow in May, I didn’t expect to see much from them.

      Bonnie, do take care of yourself. Garden work can be hard. I seem to do well doing one day in the garden and one day out of the garden.

      Thanks for your visit, have a wonderful day and know I am thinking of your mother-in-law. Many blessings, my friend.❤

  3. What a fun story! Beautiful photos and quotes always brighten my day when I visit here. Thank you.

  4. Happy Sunday Sandra! I always look forward to your Sunday post filled with meaningful quotes and beautiful photos. I do love the poppies, stunning blooms! I enjoyed your stories today, and how funny that the stick was a hydrangea and it spouted! Wishing you a lovely week!♥️

    1. Many thanks, dear Pam. I love the poppies too and they are so special to me. Wishing you a wonderful day and week ahead, sweet friend. ❤

  5. Love the story of your Annabelle hydrangea stick! Both the Rip daffodil and those French poppies are such “look at me!” varieties. I love them both. Have a great week, Sandra. Charleston will be hosting fireworks, can you believe that? And people are still being advised to stay home. Right. We will be able to see them from our balcony, just two blocks away, but I’m certain crowds will gather on the streets nearby to catch a glimpse. It seems it will invite more trouble than we already have. We’re still keeping away. Be safe.

    1. Thanks, Rita. Yes I am afraid many places in our state just seem to be inviting trouble. We are staying home and being safe. When your family is 2, you have to do your best. Enjoy the fireworks from your balcony, that should be a wonderful view. Wishing you and your family a lovely weekend and upcoming 4th of July. Be well!

  6. You have a gorgeous garden! Amazing flowers!My Mom and my Aunts always loved gardening… My Mom is 80 years old and she takes care of her garden every day,looking for new blooms,watering the plants…Adorable post! Best wishes,dear Sandra.

    1. Thank you, Maristella. I am not surprised that at 80 your mom is still taking care of her garden. I know it brings her joy. I am hopeful that when I reach that age I can still enjoy and take care of our garden. Many blessings, my friend.❤

  7. Sandra, I loved your story! It made me smile, and it also gave me encouragement. I have had a couple of gardening failures this year, but I’m not going to give up! Your Annabelle Hydrangeas are gorgeous! I hope you have a blessed week, dear friend!

    1. Thank you, Shannon. I wish I could tell you the many garden failures I have had over the years. But the rewards keep me going and I am sure they do for you as well. Have a lovely week, my friend and stay well.❤

  8. I love this, Sandra. And I learned you can grow a hydrangea from a stick. Maybe I should cut one of my hydrangea branches and give it a spot in the ground and see what happens! I tend to operate on the other side of gardening skill, unfortunately. Only my sweet pea (known as Audrey Two) seems to grow with a mind of its own. How I wish I could take lessons from you or your mom!

    1. Jeanie, the hydrangea stick will always be a funny story with Mike and me. I just wish my mom was here to enjoy it as well. She would have laughed herself silly. Who know, you might give it a try and see what happens. Perhaps, you have “green fingers” and don’t know it. Have a great week, Jeanie. Stay well and enjoy your lake.

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