Container Gardens · Inspiration

Miss Margaret’s Garden

Miss Margaret's Garden

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. – Audrey Hepburn…

I am reminded of this quote when I think of myself and my circle of friends getting older. Especially in regards to a dear elderly friend. In spite of all of our aches and pains, we keep planting seeds: seeds of kindness, seeds of hope, seeds of sympathy. All because we believe in tomorrow…

Our local gardening club hosts a children’s  workshop each year. The summer of 2015, the children put together tabletop vegetable gardens. One of our members raised miniature tomato and miniature bell pepper plants in her greenhouse for the event.

We had a couple of leftover plants, so I wanted to fix up a planter for Miss Margaret, whom I had the pleasure of meeting almost 4 years ago. I have enjoyed hearing her tell of her life as a farm wife and homemaker. She now lives in a small apartment, with a small slab of a front porch that she shares with her neighbor. It’s barely big enough for one outdoor chair for each apartment. She did have a couple of small succulent plants sitting on the edge, presumably because they were easy care plants.

I thought something that would be easy to tend while sitting in her chair would work best and I found a black kitchen waste basket that would work perfectly as a container garden and would sit on the ground just off the side of the cement slab. Once planted, it did not look like a trashcan at all. It also did not look junky from the parking lot. The top of the waste basket was level with her chair seat, so no bending was required. I planted one tomato and one pepper plant for her. Several weeks later, she told me she didn’t much care for bell peppers, but her family did and she enjoyed growing the peppers for her family to munch on. However, the tomatoes produced large cherry tomatoes, which she loved. She would share stories of how they were doing and how when they were close to ripe, she would sit out there with a salt shaker in hand (wink).


This past summer, I planted two dwarf tomato plants and two dwarf pepper plants in her original planter, and I added a matching waste basket planter. This second planter had a couple of miniature squash plants. The plants didn’t produce as much as was expected, but the harvest was plentiful enough for fresh eating a few times a week.

I always knew that she enjoyed taking care of the plants, pinching off dying leaves, watering, etc, but when she told someone she had to go “take care of her garden”, I realized then just how important that simple little container garden was to her. It gave her something to look forward to, it gave her a hobby and it gave her an incentive to get out in some fresh air.

It was Miss Margaret’s Garden!

It gave her a belief in tomorrow…


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