Babysitting the Garden

Dear Reader:

The Ya’s are off today for our annual summer retreat…this year celebrating Brooke’s and Libby’s birthdays…the “Half and Half” Celebration! (Brooke’s birthday was at the end of April and Libby’s at the beginning of June…so the middle of May works perfectly!)


These days every time we get back together we walk in sighing audibly… expressing the same sentiment in similar fashion…it goes something like this:  “I didn’t think this day would ever come…boy do I need this R&R badly…I need my Ya’s.”

And immediately a sense of peace settles in with us all…four old friends who finish each others’ sentences.

Part of the reason for my added busyness in trying to get away from the house and in the car heading to Edisto…is two-fold: Writing blogs for the days I am gone and leaving “babysitting” instructions for my garden so all will be healthy and happy upon my return.

Having a garden really is like having little children again…dependent on you for food, water, and loving nourishment. I have even gotten to the point of talking to my plants…yes I am slowly but surely evolving into that ‘crazy lady that talks to her flowers.’

I leave my neighbor Vickie instructions like “Talk softly to the flowers, let them know I won’t be gone long, give the Gerber daisies lots and lots of water…I have spoiled them in that way and now they pout and wilt quickly if I don’t “baby” them each day. Make sure you don’t see any bugs on the “babies” but if so…the spray is in the potting shed. Oh and don’t forget the fairies…they like playing in the water spray you use on the coleus…you might even hear them laugh.”

***(And speaking of fairies…Tommy and Kaitlyn arrived yesterday in Ard Na Sidhe (Hill of Fairies) and it looks beautiful enough to have fairies and everything else -delightfully magical in life- living there.)

…And “babies” in the garden back home.

P.S. “If something new blooms while I am away email me a photo and let them know how proud I am of them.” 

( My recently planted lantana along the fence started blooming before I left and the morning glories are climbing all over the fence! Just ready for them to bloom!)

I know…I know…I am losing it…but I figure if I have to lose something…there are worse things than falling head over heels in love with one’s garden.

And speaking of that expression…here is what I discovered about its origin….

‘Head over heels’ is a good example of how language can communicate meaning even when it makes no literal sense. After all, our head is normally over our heels. The phrase originated in the 14th century as ‘heels over head’, meaning doing a cartwheel or somersault. When we fall in love…our world turns upside down too.

Here are pictures of my “babies” I took before heading out today.

So until tomorrow…

“Today is my favorite day”

Winnie the Pooh

*Welcome pink mandevilla to the garden…a mother’s day gift that will hopefully keep growing and growing and growing.






* Ben was in for a surprise yesterday when part of the Mother’s Day church service was about our mother, her story, heart, and courage. Ben and his pastor are close friends and over the years he has told Pastor Riddle and his wife about mother and her amazing accomplishments…so she was chosen to be the story example for Mother’s Day at their small church. I hope you enjoyed your tribute Mom! Ben sure was proud and I am too! Long overdue recognition! Thanks Randy!


About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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5 Responses to Babysitting the Garden

  1. honey burrell says:

    Beautiful blog! Have a wonderful R&R with four of my favorite people! Love you “flower lady!!!”

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Sis H Kinney says:

    Good morning Becky!
    Don’t know if you’ll see this or not, but I hope you have a wonderfully relaxing time with your beloved Yas!! Enjoy your respite and go back to your beautiful garden refreshed and renewed!! After all, isn’t that why one goes on a retreat?
    Much love,


  3. Rachel Edwards says:

    Becky, have a delightful time at the beach. Enjoy…your garden will be there to welcome you hom when you get back. Love you.


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