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Any gardeners out there?

lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

Some of you may have read my 'seed box' story on one of my posts. The circle of life and death in a garden allows you to see how natural and inevitable death is for EVERY living thing, not just for us with cancer, but for all of God's living creations. As a life-long organic gardener, I gather the seeds of my plants each year as they wither so that I can complete the circle and plant a new generation of plants to replace the old ones. The oldest raspberry and rose canes must be cut to the ground annually so that the new young canes have the room and sunlight they need to be vigorous. Spent plants and vegetative matter I've cut back, food scraps, and fallen leaves all are composted (along with my bunny's poops!) to make the fertilizer for next year's flowers, fruits, and veggies. I think that because my grandchildren have helped me with these tasks since they were toddlers, that death is very natural and not scary to them. I think my peace with this cancer journey is because I also feel the naturalness and inevitability of death, and it holds no fear for me, none at all.

Soooo, I have been collecting so many seeds from my columbine, dianthus deltoids, and Sweet Williams (Google the names if you want to see what they look like). I've saved all the seeds from these 3 plants that I could possibly need myself. If any of you want some, please post and let me know and I'll get your addresses by email somehow. If you take these seeds, you are making a statement of HOPE, because none of these seeds will bloom before 2011, and the columbine and dianthus may need until 2012 to be mature enough to bloom (Sweet Williams are a biennial and the other 2 are perennials). So you have to work hard at being well and LIVE long enough to see these blooms, okay????? COMMIT to it!! ((((Hugs))))

My gardens are 100% organic and these seeds are very fresh and will have an almost 100% germination rate so plant them thinly so they aren't over-crowded. God's plan is that these particular flowers drop their seed NOW, so when you get the seeds from me, choose a sunny spot and loosen up the soil where you want these to bloom, and plant them right away. (Just sprinkle on the ground and sift a fine very thin dusting of soil over them and water gently.) If you aren't familiar with their leaves, plant in a straight row so you'll be able to tell them from any weeds that spring up! I usually mark my seed rows with a plastic straw cut in half. This summer they will all just be tiny green plants. They all can survive being under snow all winter with no trouble. NEXT year some of the Sweet Williams will bloom and maybe a few of the others, but 2012 will be the year you really see what you've introduced into your garden. And if you collect the seed when these flowers go brown in your garden, my flowers can live on under your care for decades. I like that idea! And if that sounds like WORK to you, these are hardy plants that will self-seed to some degree and you can just let God take care of them and they'll still be fine!

Just so you know, I planted Red Maples this summer and a HICKORY TREE that won't produce its first nuts for at least 20 years!! Now, how's THAT for hope??

Kaleena's picture
Posts: 2053
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello Linda:

When my dad passed away in May of 2005, it was amazing to me how he was able to handle it. The doctor indicated to him that his heart was just too weak (he only had one artery left) and there was nothing they could do. (He died at age 78, even though he had a guadruple bypass at age 57!) They sent him home and told him he could not garden or do anything anymore. I knew that this would not be good. He ended up back in the hospital. I had a private conversation with him and he told me to go to Mrytle Beach. He would be fine. I am the only girl in the family. However, he passed away the day I was in Mrytle Beach. He was worried about me because he knew I was having trouble and would be having surgery sometime soon. He was an avid organic gardner all of his life. We always had fresh tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and he planted flowers. Although he never taught me how to garden, I think he taught me something more. So when I read your post, I was able to relate. I only wish that he had taught me HOW to garden. I know how to pick the stuff! I used to sit under the raspberry bushes and eat fresh raspberries! Wild strawberries and blackberries were good too. We had a sour cherry tree. I could pick and pitt those and make a wonderful homemade pies, but I still don't know how to garden!

My youngest son, who is 16, loves nature and wishes to have a garden. He is in charge of watering our plants. He is doing a great job and if anyone could garden, it could be him. He has worked so hard this year. Given the fact that my boys just found out around Christmas that I had cancer in 2005 and that it might be back, and then the surgery in February of 2010, which by the way everything came out clear, he still ended up performing at his recital. His main song was the Impossible Dream. (Kinda fits in, doesn't it?) You can view it on youtube if you would like. Look up Kathleen624 and it is under Carmen singing Impossible Dream.

Well what I guess I am saying is that I would like to make my statement of HOPE and would be privileged to have some of your seeds if I can plant them! I live on three acres of land so I should have enough room! I am also looking forward to having some of your hickory nuts in 20 years!


norma2's picture
Posts: 486
Joined: Aug 2009

When I read this post while having my coffee this morning it brightened my day. What a blessing you are!!! Thanks for reminding me of the life cycle. We all live and die. I think it is how we live that matters. Not how long we live. However, your challenge to live as long as we can in order to see those seeds grow is wonderful. I love you for it.

I would love to plant some of your seeds. Don't know how well they would do in Southeast Texas. It was 102 deg yesterday. I have a vegetable garden, a flower garden and a table herb garden hubby made for me. The table is made from recycled cypress. 7'X3'X2-1/2'. I don't have to bend over when tending to it. Everything is at a easy height to work. It houses tarragon, dill, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and 3 kinds of basil. I had to evict the mint because it was taking over like a weed. Now it reigns in it's own kingdom near the back patio.

Funny, I didn't do much gardening in the past. Only since my recovery have I really invested myself in my gardens. In the morning I love to take my coffee and go to the vegetable garden. It is near the woods and there are 4 wild rabbits that visit each day. It has become a game for me to see how close I can come to them before they dart back into the woods. Bribing them with corn helps. I doubt I will get to pet one. Just have to settle for being their friend from afar.

{{{HUGGGG}}} to you. Norma

Songflower's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Apr 2009

I too love to garden. I can garden again now that I will be off doxil. Your writing about the cycle of life is beautiful. I smell a really good book in there. I talked to my gyn Onc today and she says they can keep us going longer then I thought before. I have hope right now too and my family needed the good news of NED. I live in Virginia; will the seeds grow there?

If they don't grow in my small yard, your seeds have grown in my heart. Forever.


lindaprocopio's picture
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

CSN says not to post your email address here, but I have a website with my email address and phone number and everything and anyone can GOOGLE my name and get all that. SOOOOO, please email your mailing addresses. My email is lindapro@ptd.net

I'll send you a little packet of each of these 3 kinds of seeds and find something online with a photo of the mature plant so you can leave adequate room and aren't surprised by the height. & if you want larkspur seeds, I'll be collecting them in late July. I usually have a TON of those to share, but I made up 60 little seed packets of larkspur seeds last spring for a bridal shower, so didn't have as many to plant myself this year and larkspur is just an annual here.

I plan to garden when I'm on doxil unless I am too sick to get out there. Why were you unable to garden on doxil? I use manure in my compost and I did wear gloves when working in my soil, but that was my only cancer concession.

I remember when I first started my grantwriting business and w3as working 80 hours a week and hardly ever had time to garden thinking that God is quite the gardener! He took really good care of my borders without my constant interventions. In fact, some of the self-seeded combinations would never have been MY design, but really WORKED. (The dominant color theme throughout my many borders and beds is cherry red, and then all colors that work well with that.) I even had volunteer tomato plants come up!

Posts: 683
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi Linda; I wanted to write sooner but you, going back on treatment made me a bit depressed. I was so happy this morning when I read your post. I had an appointment for blood work and when I was finished I went to the neighborhood nursery and bought myself a lavender plant. During the spring I was going to get it but I put it off because I thought I might not be able to take care of it because of my illness, well, you have given me back the confidence to continue my garden. (small garden) It's funny every year I often wonder how life would be the following year and what changes I would have to face, I never thought that it would be cancer this year.
Linda, you mentioned "The circle of life and death in a garden allows you to see how natural and inevitable death is for EVERY living thing, not just for us with cancer, but for all of God's living creations." How true those words are. I am a Jehovah's Witness and did not mention this before for fear of what people's views are about religion these days. I think you did mention also that you are not afraid of death. Well, the reason I mentioned that I am a Jehovah's Witness is that I would like to share the Bible's view on what death is and how it ties in nicely with the way you are thinking. This scripture is found at Ecclesiastes 9:5 "For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all." So what the Bible is saying here is that death is a state of total unconsciousness. When someone dies they know nothing at all, no more pain or sorrow. The Bible also explains "His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish." This is found at Psalm 146: 3, 4.
I don't want to bore you, but there is another scripture at Revelation 21: 4,5 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes,and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be any more, the former things have passed away "And the One seated on the throne said "Look I am making all things new." Also, he says "write because these words are faithful and true." So Linda and all my other friends what God is saying here is that there will be a time when he will cleanse the earth and there will be a resurrection and we will all be in a paradise earth. Our dead loved one will be resurrected and will be able to see us again.
So my dear friends there is HOPE!!!!!!!!May our Grand Creator bless us all and give us the strength and wisdom to cope with the "circle of life and death" May all of us who read this post live to share the nuts of the LINDA'S HICKORY TREE. That's not asking too much !!!!!!By the way in the cleansed earth that God promises us everything will be organic.
Linda keep up the good work. Be well everyone. Lots of love. June. By the way, go to Myrtle beach and don't wear a wig, only the ignorant will stare.

Ro10's picture
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

Gardening is a passion of mine ( or some may say an addiction). My gardens look so much better this year because I can spend some time in them. Last year I did not have the energy to spend much time in them because of radiation and chemo, so I admired them from a distance. That way I could not see all the weeds that were in the gardens. And they looked pretty good from a distance.

Right now the daylilies are blooming and it is so colorful out all of my windows. I love the beauty of the daylily. I wish their bloom lasted for more than one day.

I have not been very successful with seeds, but love to see all the volunteer plants that appear in my gardens when Mother Nature or the birds plant the seeds.

May you continue to enjoy your gardens as the summer progresses. Enjoy your time at Myrtle Beach. I think it is wonderful you are willing to share your seeds.

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