The heart is like a garden:
it can grow compassion or fear,
resentment or love.
What seeds will you plant there?
~Jack Kornfield


It’s spring! More days of sun and warmth. Birds returning and filling the air with song. Tiny buds of color peeping through the slowly melting snow. Our hearts soar and we sigh a sigh of welcome and embrace a sense of rebirth after the cold and darkness of the winter months.

Some of us look forward to the piles of seed and nursery catalogs that begin to fill our mail boxes. Like young children in the days of department store catalogs looking longingly at the hundreds of pages of toys Santa might bring, we ponder growing zones, light requirements, water needs and more.

There are times in our lives when we may pause and think about how we are growing. Maybe even what we are growing.

If you were to go through a seed catalog of personal growth or transformation, or even conviction and purpose, what kind of seeds would you choose to plant and nurture? What sort of color and beauty would you bring into your life? Would you choose things that germinate quickly or would you be more patient? Are you looking for things that grow in full sunlight with ample watering, or plants that grow happily in shade and require less water? How much care will you provide?

Perhaps you are looking for seeds to produce food….or maybe just ornamental flowers. Annuals or perennials? Is it important that your plants and garden attract and support wildlife?

What about resistance? Resistance to insects, deer, disease, mildew, drought, heat? Things we might regard as nuisances.

Open your seed catalog and browse. What will you choose to grow?

There is a section for Personal growth:  Pink Patience (slow germination time), Tender Forgiveness, Joyful Laughter (quick sprouter), Purple Peace of Mind.

In the Reaching Out section there are seed packets for Endless Kindness, Hardy Uplifting, Tall Flowering Tolerance, Arching Acceptance, Continual Compassion (needs fertilizer) and Lavender Love (continuous blooming).

Under the category of Resilience we find Fragrant Flexibility, both the climbing and ground cover varieties, and Sunny Confidence in all shades of yellow and orange.

There may be too many choices in the Spirituality section, so go slowly, read the descriptions and plan accordingly. Favorites include: Prayerful Pansy, in all colors,  Divine Daisy, Passion Poppy, Reflective Fern, Believers Berries (good for some wildlife), Mindful Meadow Rue, Bee Balm Wisdom, Pious Iris, Sacred Cosmos, Hopeful Heliotrope (easy wilter, keep watered).


There is another section on invasive and tenacious plants. Included are seed packets for Frozen Fear (spreads almost uncontrollably, so be careful where you plant it), in shades of purple.  Resentment Rose has as many colors as thorns. Angry Aubergine, makes a bitter parmesan. Hateful Horseradish is not for the full-hearted. These require certain types of soil and fertilizer to maintain healthy growth. Read labels carefully. Once these get a footing, they may be hard to thin or remove.

Really, the choices are endless. What do you pick? Perennials or annuals? Kindness and Love? Both? Flowers or bushes? Mindfulness or Passion? Flexibility and Acceptance? Drought resistant? Fear and Anger? Sunny or shady? Laughter or Patience?

If a friend or stranger were to come into your heart garden, what would they see? When you pick a bouquet for your home, what will it look like? When you create a nosegay for a friend, what it is the message it sends?

If you are a beginner and get frustrated with the results, no worries. It takes time to get the right mix for your garden. Remember:

“You’re frustrated because you keep waiting
for the blooming of flowers of which
you have yet to sow the seeds.”
~ Steve Maraboli

What seeds will you plant in your heart?


**both photographs by me

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