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These days, when people see my garden or the fruit trees in my yard, they often comment that I have a green thumb. That's because they see the abundance of produce in my garden. The cherry tomatoes are prolific and are so sweet they taste like candy. The full-size tomatoes are humongous, juicy, and extremely tasty. 

The crookneck squash spreads outside its raised bed with huge, healthy leaves and lots of yellow baby squashes. The mango trees, both of them, are laden with fruit. The avocadoes, according to everyone who has eaten some, are "the best they've ever eaten". Same goes for the mangoes. 

Some of my neighbors here in Central Florida also have a mango tree in their yard, but theirs only have a few mangos, not a plentiful abundance. Their tomato plants have some tomatoes but are not bearing heavily like mine. Thus the comment about the green thumb.

Green Thumb?

Do I use lots of chemical fertilizers to achieve this abundance? No! I use organic methods, compost, and natural fertilizers. But what I do, that my neighbors do not do, is talk to my plants everyday and give them plenty of love. That is the best fertilizer one can use.

Now, when I share this tidbit of information with my neighbors (as I try to educate them in the art of having a bountiful garden), they either look at me strangely or say outright, I'm not going to talk to my mango tree! But, if the tree is alive - which it is - and if everything is composed of energy - which it is - then sharing energy (communicating) with plants (and animals) is a perfectly natural and reasonable thing to do. However, I talk to them, but I am not sensitive enough - at this time - to hear them. But I often intuitively will know who needs water, who needs pruning, etc. And you notice I said "who" -- not "what". I know my plants are living entities with their own needs and "feelings".

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Moles and Other Critters

People don't understand why my garden is not all dug up by moles and all the produce eaten by squirrels. My belief - and experience - is that because I bear those creatures no ill will, they do not bear me any either. Just this morning, one of my neighbors commented on the marigolds who adorn every garden bed and help repel pests. She was amazed at my marigolds. Hers got all eaten by squirrels even before they bloomed. Mine are blooming profusely, and the squirrels have never harmed them.

I make sure the bird bath always has clean water, and I've seen squirrels drink there too, so it's also a squirrel watering hole. I make sure they have water as I care for their well-being and the well-being of the plants in my garden.

Another neighbor, when he saw my mangoes the first year the tree bore fruit, was quick to inform me that I better pick them before they got ripe; otherwise, the squirrels would eat them all. 

Did that happen? No. I did not pick them early as I prefer my fruit to ripen on the tree, and the squirrels seemed content to eat the ones that fell on the ground as the tree shared its bounty in that way with them as well. I'm fine with sharing, and as I inform the birds (and other critters - including humans), I am quite willing to share as long as they don't take it all, as long as they leave some for others (including me).

The other day, I found a huge tomato on the ground half eaten. OK, so I commented out loud: I'm OK with you eating some tomatoes, but don't waste them. Eat the whole thing. And I left it on the ground. The next morning, it was all gone, and none of the other tomatoes had been eaten. Communication and harmony, as opposed to anger and threats of retribution, seem to work—for me, anyway.

Thumb or Heart?

So, do I have a green thumb? Nope. My thumb is the same color as my other digits. What I do have is a heart that loves nature and enjoys working in the garden and talking to the plants as I do so. What I have is a heart full of gratitude for the wonders my garden and fruit trees produce. And every time I'm in the garden, or pass by the mango tree, I always have a comment to make. For example: you're looking wonderful today. Look at those fantastic fruit! Thank you for sharing them with me! You're amazing!  As the love exudes from me towards the plants, they return the love right back at me in the form of luscious fruit and vegetables.

So it's all in the attitude, gratitude, and communication—not in the thumb or any action of my hands per se. I feel my oneness with the garden as I provide it energy to help it grow, and it, in turn, provides me energy to help me grow through the fruit (and vegetables) it produces.

And What About People?

And, of course, this same principle applies to humans. If you treat humans with respect, listen to them, take care of them, compliment them, share your time and energy with them, they will also give back to you in abundance. But if you treat others with impatience, judgment, look down upon them, don't give them any of your time and attention, aren't open to receiving what they have to share... what will you get? The same thing you gave them.

Love is a Universal fertilizer. It enhances our relationships, creates better communication, and establishes harmony. People will sometimes say that someone has a way with people. Well, perhaps what they are doing is sharing Love from their being, and they do not judge and criticize, hold resentments, or look for ways to get even if they've been insulted or hurt. Maybe that's "having a way with people" to harmonious relationships.

What we put out into the world comes back to us multiplied. People usually say this about money... and the churches often use this to collect more of the stuff. The more you give, the more you will receive. And yes, energy circulates, goes around, and returns to us... whether that energy is negative and discordant, or whether it is harmonious and positive. But what we give must be given with Love for it to return to us in Love as well. If we give begrudgingly, then you will get the same in return.

Thus, the best way to have a wonderful garden, whether you're growing fruits and vegetables or growing relationships, is to sow Love, to spread Love, and then you will harvest Love. As you sow, so shall you reap.

So let's pay attention to what we are sowing: discord or harmony, doubt or trust, anger or acceptance, etc. etc.  Whatever we "plant" or spread out into the world will come back to us multiplied. 

As for me, I'm focusing on seeding Love, both in myself and others, because the garden I wish to see around me is one where everyone cares for the other and seeks the highest good for all.

©2024by Marie T. Russell

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About The Author

Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.

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