‘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

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16 Comments on "‘Sunday Thoughts’ ~ “Green Fingers”"

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Lu Bush

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

Bonnie morgan

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.

Penny Carlson

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

Pam Richardson

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!♥️

Rita C at Panoply

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.


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.

Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors
Shannon@Belle Bleu Interiors

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!


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!