Wonderstruck is defined as suddenly being filled with wonder and delight. Looking at something so beautiful that you are left in awe. I often feel this way when I experience the presence of something bigger than myself. Nature in all of its splendor- autumn leaves, a starry sky, a summer garden in full bloom. The way a flower petal opens or seeing an iridescent humming bird in flight. The colors, the petals and the small creatures are what make gardening a sometimes spiritual experience.
I am an accidental gardener. I have always loved flowers and photography, but it wasn’t until I moved to Chicago that I really thought about gardening . After a long first winter I watched in wonder as suddenly everything began to wake from its snow covered slumber. The brilliant green buds and all the bulbs blooming. Everywhere I looked there were cheerful snowdrops and daffodils and lawns blanketed in blue glory of the snow. I watched in amazement as the symphony of spring color played before me.
One Chicago spring and I was smitten I had to find a way to plant my own spectacular garden. So after studying the flowers at the botanical gardens and in every beautiful yard I saw, I began to dream and plan. The next year I planted 150 bulbs mostly muscari and tulips but over the years that number has grown. Then came the dahlias, zinnias, hollyhocks and the vegetable garden. This year between my home and my daughters’ school I planted nearly 800 springs bulbs because I love the thrill of creating something beautiful.
As naturalist and botanist John Muir once said, “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” This year I have been especially grateful for the gift of gardening and its power to lift my spirits. So here’s to the gardens and moments in nature that connect us, take our breath away and leave us wonderstruck.