-“Might I have a bit of earth?”-

I made a new discovery this year.

Yeah, those don’t look so very exciting, do they? Boring old jersey work gloves. But they’re green, which sets them apart from Roger’s bigger black ones. And they’re not stiff like most gardening gloves.

And the reason they’re important enough for me to write about them on my blog? Well… at the risk of completely sounding like a girl, I’ll just admit it. I don’t like to get my hands dirty. Flowers are pretty, fresh garden vegetables are yummy, but dirt under my fingernails grosses me out.  I cringe at the possibility of my fingers running into a worm -or any other crawly thing- while I’m messing around in the garden.

I do realize that if I was a character in a romance novel, this trait would automatically tip the reader off that I am the bad girl; the one who doesn’t get the guy. And then… once you discover that I also don’t like animals of any variety and refuse to dirty my hands by petting them, you’d realize that, not only do I not get the guy, I probably am also plotting to kill the girl who is supposed to end up in happily-ever-after-land.

But guess what. I did get the guy (without using any subversive means) and, getting back on subject… he’s the guy who has always been more than happy to get his hands dirty gardening for me. It’s good enough for him that I appreciate what comes out of the garden and feed it to him (minus anything floral.) His gardening gifts are actually kind of intimidating. It’s hard to be a beginning gardener when you’re married to someone who’s really good at it. What’s the point in learning it myself?

But this year… my kids are growing up. They’re all in school except one. And when they’re home, they don’t need me like they used to. And it’s so beautiful outside. And I picked up those green gloves at True Value. And Roger and Bill cut up a tree for me to use as a border. And I really want beauty outside my home.

This is what I have to work with:

And this picture was taken after several hours of work were put into it. I’m determined to make something beautiful out of this forgotten piece of wasteland. I was informed that that description is overly dramatic, but if you’ve seen it, if you’ve had the misfortune to walk through it; you’d agree. That little corner of the world has been utterly and depressingly wretched. And I really don’t know a thing about gardening, but someday when people drive past our house and glance up, they’ll see… something pretty, something they want to come walk through.

Maybe. That’s probably just wishful thinking….

Anybody know where the title of this entry came from? It’s one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite books. The answer to the question is: “When you see a bit of earth you want, take it, child, and make it come alive.”


About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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8 Responses to -“Might I have a bit of earth?”-

  1. And what book is that quote from?

    I think the petting the dog aversion is in the genes!

    I don’t love getting dirt under my nails but I do it alot! I always wear holes in the tips of my garden gloves. And sometimes I’m just too lazy to go get them. I am very spontaneous about pulling weeds.

    Good luck with gardening!


  2. Wendy says:

    The Secret Garden!
    I actually know it from the musical though. When I saw that title I thought you were quoting the musical – I should have known you’d be quoting a book : )


  3. Andrew says:

    Alas. You have more time to garden than you used to and I have far less than I used to. I still get a bit in (mostly as cheap labour for the ultimate gardener- mom), but it seems almost seldom that I am outside going at it now.


  4. Jeannie & Steve Smith says:

    I can identify with you on several counts. I don’t LIKE to get dirt under my nails either but I find myself spontaneously pulling weeds and not taking the time to go get the gloves. I have some green gloves like those and I really like them. With my gloves I feel confident to pull or dig most anyting in the yard. About those animals I am all with you girl. Like Joyce said, must be in the genes. Have a wonderful time creating your own “beauty” in your corner of the world. Don’t forget to post pics after. ENJOY!!!!!!


  5. Amy says:

    The Secret Garden. Will your soon have a wall & thick vines…and a swing…and soon we will follow a robin & have all kids of adventures & secrets together? 🙂


    • ten4ruthie says:

      Yes, but they’ll have to be very small adventures. This is a very small garden. Also… there was no swing in the secret garden. I believe you’re referencing a horrendous movie that people always get confused with a truly great book by the same name.


  6. Mom says:

    Yes, all that is in your genes! You are a chip off the old block. Or in gardening terms the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Anyway I wonder what you’re going to put in that bed. I hope whatever it is likes shade, because it looks shady. Maybe impatiens? I hope it lives up to your expectations because there is something so satisfying about a beautiful flower bed especially when you designed and planted it yourself. I had already decided to guess The Secret Garden and then I saw the comments. So I guess that’s right. Sweet story.


    • ten4ruthie says:

      You can’t really see them in the photo, but there are some hostas peeking up that we transplanted last year. And you’re right. It’s a shady spot. I’m planning to wait til the danger of frost is past, then go pick out some random shade-loving plants at Lowes. Some of them will probably be white impatiens. They’re my favorite.


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