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Unappreciated and Unnoticed

My mom was an avid gardener. She planted both flower and vegetable gardens. She spent hours in our backyard putting in new garden beds, planting seeds, pruning leaves and blooms, pulling weeds, and providing each plant tender loving care. I can vividly recall how healthy her gardens were – full of brilliant colors and lush foliage. She really knew her stuff. She was a true plant whisperer. Yet, back then, gardening was largely unappreciated by me.

Many years later, when I was middle age, I began to develop an interest in plants. It started when mom bought me a housewarming gift, two Pothos, which are debatably the easiest of all houseplants to grow. I perched them from hanging planters over my kitchen bay window. They were generally unnoticeable until their trailing vines grew so long, I had to drape them on hooks along the walls and over the window frame. Thirty plus years later, and through various moves to new homes, I still have with me today cuttings from those original plants.

I’m no plant whisperer, but I do know a lot more about plants now. Plants are a lot like human babies; they can’t say to you what they want or why they aren’t doing well, so a lot of their care comes from trial and error and educated guesses. My favorite plant is the tropical hibiscus. My daughters hear me talk about them quite a bit. Their blooms are exotic and intense in color. Last year, I bought two beautiful yellow braided hibiscus plants. Sadly, they both died. I had no idea, until way too late, they were under attack by Aphids – minute sap sucking bugs. I had overlooked these killer pests.

I’ve had a variety of plants over the years, but one has been relatively ignored. I didn’t appreciate until recently that my Angel Wing Red Begonia has bloomed brilliant red flowers, none stop, since I bought it nearly a year ago. Yet, I’ve barely mentioned it to anyone. I completely discounted it as worthy of any praise.

The Acts of Kindness Awards is yet another way I’m striving to be more mindful about providing appreciation to the unnoticed. The event is to recognize individuals who are not well-known celebrities but are ordinary people who have committed their time and energy to improving the lives of those in their communities. They each have phenomenal stories. I invite you to visit to see pictures of previous award recipients, and to stay tuned for the next Acts of Kindness Awards. #actsofkindnessawards #followus #stayuptodate #celebratingexcellence

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