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Quote of the Day: Thalassa Cruso

May 13th, 2012

Gardeners should love what they own & own what they love; but their gardens should never own them, there will be no pleasure in them if they do.

-Thalassa Cruso (Making Things Grow Outdoors)

I thought this quote was quite fitting. There once was a time when I was trying to get way too much done when it came to the garden. One day I realized “it’s not a race”. I didn’t have to get an entire orchard planted in one summer, or to fill every flowerbed with plants the first year.

After realizing this my gardening has taken a much slower pace. I still spend countless hours each week in the garden, but I don’t get stressed out if I don’t get something accomplished that I was hoping to get done.

As a result, gardening is much more relaxing. I can enjoy the simple pleasure of slowly weeding a flowerbed without worrying if I’ll have time to install a hedge of roses or not. When I get time, I’ll have a hedge of roses, until then, I’ll relish the fresh cleanly weeded flowerbed.

What pace do you typically maintain as a gardener?

11 Comments to “Quote of the Day: Thalassa Cruso”
  1. Kathi Cook on May 13, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I agree. I used used to think ” oh if i plant those blueberries now I will have to wait 3 or 4 years before I can even pick them.” That kind of thinking only about instant gratification would sometimes prevent me from seeing the bigger picture. Now I better realize the process of gardening and try to let it unfold and evolve more naturally. Patience is what gardening continues to teach me.

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  2. Cheryl on May 13, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I chuckled reading this post because we just moved into a new home and I’ve been trying to plant a lot this year. The same lesson has been slowly growing on my mind…it’s ok to wait for some things. This is my first real attempt at a garden and we have a bit of a head start because our little property already has some fruit trees, rhubarb and horseradish among other unknown plants.

    Could you tell me what the plant is in the second picture down from the top? We have that growing in several places and I’ve never seen it anywhere else until your picture!

    Reply to Cheryl's comment

    • Susy on May 13, 2012 at 8:23 am

      It’s a variety of sedum, I haven’t figured out the specific cultivar yet (I’m thinking it might be ‘Gold Mound’ but I’m not positive). I got mine as a start from another gardener. It’s a stunning plant and I really LOVE it.

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      • Cheryl on May 15, 2012 at 3:32 pm

        Thank you so much!!

        to Cheryl's comment

  3. Songbirdtiff on May 13, 2012 at 8:18 am

    I’m definitely more about the journey than the end result. I’m growing our new garden a little at a time, preferring to do it right from the beginning rather than just throwing everything in the ground.

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  4. tj on May 13, 2012 at 9:07 am

    …I love this quote and it rings true. In the beginning I got to caught up in everything looking perfect and it got to the point that I was dreading each task. Now I just enjoy being in the garden and truly enjoying what I have done so far versus always thinking of what I still need and want to do.

    …Thank you for the reminder Susy. :o)

    …Like me, you’re a mother to the furry type of children so “Happy Mother’s Day”!


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    • Susy on May 13, 2012 at 11:48 am

      So sweet – thanks. Yep just another to a menagerie of furies (and hopefully someday some feathered ones too).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Sherri on May 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    What a post! I’m forced into gardening at two distinct paces.

    Super hard core intensely fast food production (due to VERY short growing season) and….

    Slow, methodical, gradual landscape gardening. When we moved here nearly 3 years ago there was ONLY perimeter evergreens on 3 sides of the property, and a small horrible looking straight line of craggy, old neglected potentillas. That’s it – the whole 2.5 acres was either chemically treated, dry, hard packed grass or those trees on the property line.

    Priority one was establishing self sustaining food gardens and an orchard. That endeavour has taken 3 full years on top of completing all our own renovation work.

    This is the year that we (finally) get to do a little landscaping… when I say little I do mean little (budget constraints). I started a bunch of perennials from seed this spring and I am gathering some splits through freecycle. Slow, slow, slow…. I can’t wait to have some flowers to look at – at long last!

    Oh, how I will appreciate every single bloom!

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  6. judym on May 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    we’re still having to remind ourselves at times to take it slow and steady. When moved here 30 yrs ago, there was nothing here. it used to be part of a corn/hay field. We had a push mower for 4 acres. For several yrs. a neighbor bailed the timothy hay that came up every year. We invested in Blue Spruce and Scotch pine to border two property linrs and long drive way. Just yr. old seedlings then. Now we have to cut back the spruce to get down the drive. We found free trees over the years, bought fruit trees when kids were small, added new ones this year. Now have numeroud flower beds and raised garden beds. Wildlife is everywhere – sometimes where we don’t want them but that’s part of the adventure. Small birds, turkeys, hawks, owls, pheasant, foxes, etc. We love it here. Still adding & improving – only difference? Getting faster growing trees to enjoy in our now golden years! :o)

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  7. Maybelline on May 13, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    I am a World Class Putterer!

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  8. Jaye Whitney on May 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    I maintain a frantic pace. This quote really opened my eyes to the way I’m doing/done things. Gonna take it a bit more easy now.

    Reply to Jaye Whitney's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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