The Plant Man: Gardening teaches patience

By Steve Kawaratani

“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” –John Lennon

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Photos courtesy of Steve Kawaratani

Steve Kawaratani

Many of us become overly occupied with having a beautiful coastal garden, rather than on the creative process that is gardening. In other words, we want beautiful flowers, but we don’t necessarily want to work for them.

I believe successful gardeners focus on the season, rather than envisaging a completed landscape. Gardening is an experience that transcends lifestyle, age and wealth. After all, the practice of horticulture is a lifetime journey and not a destination.

Engaging in gardening promotes well-being, reduces stress and surely brings a sense of satisfaction through the enjoyment of nurturing plants. A garden is a personal space that is the tangible results of our efforts.

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Homegrown veggies

Growing a vegetable provides a connection to the food you eat, promoting awareness of the cultural practices of watering, fertilizing and pest management. A successful veggie garden brings the knowledge that you are what you have cultivated and consumed.

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Fragrant plumeria

Gardening is about the senses – the sensual fragrance of the plumeria, feeling the structure of well-tended soil and being fascinated by the aerial ballet of hummingbirds attracted by bright, tubular flowers.

Gardening teaches us patience, as plants require time to flourish and attain maturity. The seasonal changes within a landscape help us to better understand the cyclical nature of our own lives, and effects a sense of gratitude for the wonder of it all. See you next time.

Steve Kawaratani has been a local guy for seven decades and likes to garden and drive the Baja Peninsula with Catharine and Loki. He can be reached at or 949.494.5141.


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