A Small Piece of Heaven: The Joys of Gardening

Listen as husband and father of two Andrew Siegel, having started small by growing a single tomato plant years ago, explains why he now finds great joy in time spent in the garden with his family.

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Hi Guideposts. I'm Andrew Siegel, and this is my garden.

This is where my family and I grow a lot of different vegetables and flowers and herbs. Gardening's been really important to my family because it gives us an opportunity to spend time outside together, away from all the electronics and distractions. 

Especially for my five-year-old, it really gives her an opportunity to be in touch with nature—all the little critters and bugs and things that come out here. It's all part of it.

We find that a lot of the things that we plan for in the garden don't always go the way that we'd like them to, and some of the things that we don't plan for in the garden become some of the things that we cherish the most that year. So it's something that I've learned and my family's learned: To appreciate all of it.

My advice for beginner gardeners is to just start. Get a pot, get a little bit of dirt, get a tomato plant or whatever plant you want and just get started.

I think sometimes it seems a little intimidating. Trust me, it does not need to be perfect. You will cherish every little thing you get out of it.

Gardening has taught me patience, something I don't naturally have a lot of. It takes weeks, takes months before the work you put into it comes out. You learn not only to be patient, in that end product, but I've also learned that, after years of gardening, the end product's just part of it.

The journey of growing has become much more important to me than the actual produce that we get in the end. Nothing's been so valuable as the time I spend out here. I'm by no means in a farmland, but I do have my own little piece of what I consider heaven, and I've really learned to appreciate every little moment—every bug, every plant, every flower—and when you can appreciate it in that way, there's nothing better.

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