Spoiler Alert: I was never really that good at gardening. I suppose maybe it’s because I took gardening for granted. After all, nature is perfect at it. Gardening is so easy, some of the best gardeners are squirrels.

As early as I can remember I used to love playing LP’s on my little funky record player. Besides my coveted Partridge Family album, my all time favorite was my Little Engine That Could album. I sat on the floor and listened to the album over and over again, sucking my thumb and rubbing a soft part of my “gaga” against my cheek. (“Gaga” equals “blankie”.) The rhythm of “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” is still floating in my head to this day. Every time I listened to the album I was hoping the little engine would get to the top. For some reason, I always thought there was a chance it couldn’t no matter how many times I listened to the story.

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” changed as the train reached toward the top to “I thought I could, I thought I could, I thought I could”. I think after I listened to this story 5,000 times during the most impressionable period of my life, ages 2-4, the chant changed for me. It’s now “I know I can, I know I can.”

Gardening is one of the few past times that, if you’re not naturally perfect at it, you’ll give up on it right away. It’s too bad. I found that gardening is one of the most rewarding past times for me. Not because I have to have my hands in the dirt, but simply because plants are like a paintbrush and I’m always surprised at the unintended consequences when everything comes together. It’s the life that shows up. Birds and the bees. The smell and a child’s glee at a colorful flower. I think gardening should be approached organically. Not from a practical standpoint, but as a mental approach. Experimenting, having the courage to fail and adjusting to nature.

Gardening is the number one past time that we give up on if we are not naturally perfect. I’ve already said this, but if a four year old can grow a marigold in a Dixie cup, you’re telling me you can’t grow flowers in your garden? Is your fall back position always “Let’s try succulents!”? If you don’t succeed, Google it? Ugh. The internet has really taken nature out of the equation. Don’t take the information on Google and become a zombie with it. You really do have to apply it to the world that is immediately at your present.

High Hand Nursery is my mountain.

With a “Knew I Could” drumbeat, we set out to climb the mountain with a dedicated team of great folks. We will continue to steam ahead and continue to climb the endless mountain of creativity that has become High-Hand Nursery.

Without you as our source of inspiration, we would not have the steam.

The Little Engine That Could

I am completely thrilled to be able to relive my childhood memories of the Little Engine That Could. So, inspired by that album that has really become the drumbeat of my subconscious, we are bringing the Little Engine That Could to Maple Rock Gardens. With trains running all over the gardens and steam engines steaming ahead, join us.

You can:

  • Tour the garden
  • Listen to live music
  • Enjoy lunch from High-Hand Cafe and, of course
  • Enjoy the garden railroad
  • Free parking

Live steam trains will be running as well as our garden railroad. The Little Engine That Could would love to see you. Click here to purchase your tickets.

This weekend at High-Hand, Farmer Ryan will be here with melons. Come taste and sample fresh heirloom watermelons from Maple Rock Gardens. Ask him why he farms.

As our great-grandparents gardened and farmed, what would have happened if they had quit? I don’t think we would be here right now, would we?

We were all looking up.
The best view was provided by nature at your feet.
Who needed sunglasses to see the eclipse.
The Eclipse Through the Leaves of Nature.
Did you notice?
See you at High-Hand Nursery this weekend. Come say hello to Greg on Sunday as he plays for you in the garden.
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