Gardening promotes wisdom

Services for Real Estate Pros with Kate Writes Right

One of the habits that I inherited from my father is the wisdom of keeping a garden.April 18, 2009

Although my garden is tiny compared to average and super-teeny-weeny compared to the one kept by my parents, it still provides something for me that is hard to describe.

Sure, it is wonderful to taste the "fruit of my labor" with fresh tomatoes, basil and other culinary delights.  But there is more to the experience than can be tasted in the mouth when it is eaten.  (BTW: The pic on the right is actually the first little grape tomatoes formed in my garden on 4/18/09)  The weather around The Woodlands TX is warm really early in the year.

I actually can hear my father's voice when I am in the garden.  I hear all the lessons he taught about responsibility and his favorite saying, "a job worth doing is worth doing right."  I have taken some liberties in my life in defining what is "right" and it comes quite short of perfection.  Rest assured, I am confident that he understands this new definition of right and delights in my decision to be less than perfect.

According to many people, my standards are waaaay too tough.  But they did not know my father.  Compared to him, I am very loose with my ability to accept things with their faults.  My real estate clients know my commitment to doing things right.  Sometimes they actually tell me to relax and do less - or to give myself a little grace to be good enough.  Although they really want me to be available each time they need me, they always respect my commitment to self-renewal with days off and the time I take off simply to play.

Today, as I wait to hear the papers are drawn for my out-of-state buyers who are building a new home, I knew that I had time to spend in my garden.  I did not go to church.  Instead I had my own spiritual experience in my garden and feel greatly blessed by that time.

Comments (58)

Kathi Frank
Kate Writes Right - Houston Heights, TX
The Woodlands TX

Sally - It sounds like you had a wonderful day.  We all need to get away...even from see all the extraordinary things that we miss on ordinary days.  The cool thing about my day is that I spent a few hours with a buyer to work up a contract with DR Horton to build them a house.  It's all good.

Russ - Tending to things usually can bring some pleasant long as we don't try to control the outcome.

May 24, 2009 01:52 PM
Linda Jandura
Raleigh Cary Realty - Apex, NC
Realtor, North Carolina Buyer & Seller Specialist

Kathy- One of the first things I did when I got back from my 2 week trip to Alaska yesterday was to go out and look at all my tomatoes, peppers, and flowers that I had planted this spring. I was thrilled to see the flowers all in bloom (many from seeds!), little peppers on the plants, and tomatoes ready to flower.  Learned mylove of gardening from my grandfather, hope that he's enjoying my garden from above.

May 24, 2009 02:09 PM
Shane OnullGorman
Eau Claire Realty, Inc. - Eau Claire, WI
Eau Claire Wisconsin, Real Estate Agent & Realtor- Buy or Sell

I spent the whole day putting in a garden. Its a good day today.

May 24, 2009 02:28 PM
Kathi Frank
Kate Writes Right - Houston Heights, TX
The Woodlands TX

Linda - It is funny how something as personal as a garden can connect us to our heritage.  This is only the are going to enjoy all the things you planted.  WOW, I am jealous of your trip to Alaska.  Did you bring back pics to share?

Shane - I hope you have a bountiful crop to compensate you for the day's labor.  You will enjoy sharing with those you care about.

May 24, 2009 03:07 PM
Scott Baker Coldwell Banker Realty - Liberty Township, OH
Realtor Homes for Sale Cincinnati/Dayton Ohio

I too remember many lessons learned in the garden. My family had gardens and farms. I just wish I had some type of a green thumb now. Planted some flowers and I don't think they are "taking". I should have realized, you have got to start with good soil.

May 24, 2009 03:44 PM
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Kathi -- I genuinely enjoyed reading your post.  It made me think:  If I were looking for a REALTOR, I would choose you alone based on this post. :-)

May 24, 2009 04:39 PM
Jackie -
770.498.7333 - Atlanta, GA
Learn to leverage technology to get more done.

Kathi - thanks for the encouragement. I have started taking more gardening time for myself this year, and the yard is coming along. My body and my mind benefit from gardening.

May 24, 2009 06:32 PM
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Kathy,   I used to have a huge garden in the city, there is nothing like spending time in the dirt, watching and watering -- sometimes I miss it.  I loved the description of your grandfather and the salt shaker -- I have seen my father in law do that.  Enjoy your garden and Congratulations on the feature!

May 24, 2009 06:55 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Gardening is a wonderful way to rejuvenate the mind and spirit. And I think, once I get back in the swing of things, the body.

Being a copywriter means I sit at a desk all day, so the physical exercise of getting the ground ready and doing the planting has my muscles screaming at me after the last couple days of hard work. But... the vegetable seeds are all in the ground now. Next come the flowers.

And then, I don't need to worry about stopping the exercise once I have everything mulched... there is so much grass in the raspberry patch that it could take me all summer to clean it out. After all, I still need to sit at my desk most of the day.

I love crawling around in the dirt, getting as filthy as a little kid - but sure wish the black gnats would leave me alone. I'm pretty much covered in itchy welts tonight. 

Ah well, dreams of home-grown tomatoes will sustain me!

May 24, 2009 07:55 PM
Steve Bush
Maxfield Real Estate - Moultonborough, NH
603.455.7428 - NH Lakes Region


I have always had a vegetable garden since my college days. I was going to put in my tomato plants today, but the weather report says possible frost tonight here in central New Hampshire.

As many who have responded have already said, it is about mind and spirit, and of course the end results are so tasty :)

May 24, 2009 10:14 PM
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

   I understand completely!   I hope your garden gives you as much as enjoyment and satisfaction as mine gives me. 

May 24, 2009 10:32 PM
Katiejo Franks
Real Estate and Beyond, LLC - Scottsdale, AZ

Gardening teaches hard work and patience does pay off as working real estate. Great analogy and post. Thanks

May 25, 2009 12:55 AM
Kathi Frank
Kate Writes Right - Houston Heights, TX
The Woodlands TX

I am so thankful to be among so many wonderful Rainers.  From you I have learned these lessons.

From Scott, we are reminded that we need to put our efforts in "good soil" or good clients.  Within Chris's compliment comes the knowledge that we all are able to show our true selves by blogging here and can attract those good clients.

Jackie and Mary testify to the benefits of digging in the dirt to renew our own selves.  Marte helps us to recognize that the clean work at a desk can be balanced by the dirt and hard work.  Steve talks about timing and the fact that we must wait for the perfect opportunity.  Katiejo helps us to feel confident of the payoff that comes from work and patience.

It is all good and I thank you!

May 25, 2009 02:24 AM
Realty Dot Com ( - Charlotte, NC

Gardening is very great. Its also a great stress reliever.

May 25, 2009 03:42 AM
Mark Watterson
Salt Lake City, UT
Utah Real Estate

I find those that work with the soil (with their hands) to be more grounded in reality.  Love being around those type of people.

May 25, 2009 03:43 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, RealtorĀ®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Gardening is so relaxful and serene.  I hope your tomatoes are growing...ummm I can just taste a fresh grown tomatoe..nothing like it.

May 25, 2009 06:52 AM
An Marshall
Berkshire Hathaway - St. Augustine - Saint Augustine, FL
Your St Augustine Real Estate Consultant

there is something very nurturing about getting one's hands dirty in the dirt.  I have trouble just keeping a plastic plant let alone one that needs more attention. 

May 25, 2009 08:31 AM
Kathy Knight
Intracoastal Realty Corp - Wilmington, NC

Great blog Kathy - I worked on my plants a good part of the day and feel great having had done that.

May 25, 2009 01:10 PM
Steven Nickens
Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers - Wailea, HI
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii


Are those Roma Tomatoes,  I been gardening a lot this last year.  I like eating organic veggies and picking fresh food.  I am almost ready to start harvesting papayas.  My mom taught me to love gardening, there is something endearing about getting close to the earth.


May 25, 2009 02:42 PM
Grace Keng
Keller Williams Realty Cupertino - Cupertino, CA
CRS, CDPE (408) 799-8887


I have a vegatible garden that I enjoyed also with tomatoes.

Grace Keng, Silicon Valley realtor northern California,

Jul 28, 2009 09:37 AM