Saturday 7 August 2010

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Gardening is one of the rewards of middle age, when one is ready for an impersonal passion, a passion that demands patience, acute awareness of a world outside oneself, and the power to keep on growing through all the times of drought, through the cold snows, towards those moments of pure joy when all failures are forgotten and the plum tree flowers."
~May Sarton

I guess you could call me somewhat of a late bloomer. I finally found my one true love after 3 goes and reaching 45 years of age . . . I didn't embrace the faith of my heart until I was in my mid forties . . . I became a Chef at the age of 47 . . . I didn't really begin to explore my artistic talents until I was over 50 . . . and . . . I have only in recent years discovered a great love of gardening and flowers. Yep . . . a late bloomer for sure . . .

We got our plum tree rather late in the season, and it already had some small plums on it, so I didn't really get to watch it bloom. There is hope for next spring though . . . Our garden, however, is filled to overflowing with blooms and hope . . . geraniums, roses, pansies, petunias, lavendar, dahlias, etc. just to name a few . . . and this sweet petunia which has chosen to bloom between the rocks and stones of our front drive. Nobody told her that this wasn't actually garden area . . . I've no idea how she got there . . . but . . . there she stands in glory, between the rocks . . . looking ephemerally exquisitely beautiful, and . . . blooming for all she is worth!!

I am reminded of the great Victorian gardener and writer, Ms Gertrude Jeykll, who is considered by many to be the Queen of modern garden design. She was a late bloomer, having spent the first half of her life as an artist. Failing eyesight in her fifties forced her to lay down her paints and brushes and take up a spade. She turned to gardening as her creative outlet and over the next three decades of her life she designed at least fifty stunningly beautiful English gardens and wrote some fourteen books and numerous articles.

Being a later bloomer means that you have the time and luxury to explore your talents, and to revamp them if you should fall short of what your dreams have been calling you to be. There is no real risk involved because . . . at this late point in life . . . nobody really expects a heck of a lot from you anyways! You are free to re-invent yourself as many times as it takes . . . free from the watchful eyes of an adoring public . . . with the freedom to rediscover and reclaim who you really are . . . making the most of whatever resources you have, whatever talents you have discovered, right in the ground you find your roots planted. The gift of today and experience gives you the opportunity to re-create your circumstances and to make them as perfect as possible . . . to get them as right as you can . . . with what you have to work with. In order to be the best that we can be . . . we must learn to bloom right where we are planted.

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want. And if they can't find them, they make them.
~George Bernard Shaw

Don't let fear of failure keep you from exploring your potential or chasing your dreams. One only fails when one stops trying. Bloom where you are planted . . . or you may find that you never bloom at all.

I had the gift of being given a ton of Greek Yoghurt earlier this week, as some of you probably know and I have been enjoying finding ways to use it all up all week long. I made some delicious cornbread with it a few days ago, to enjoy with a bowl of soup. It turned out really lovely, wonderfully moist and tender. I think this may be my new favourite recipe for cornbread!

*Country Cornbread*
Makes one 8 inch cornbread, serving about six people
Printable Recipe

Hearty and flavourful. This goes well with soups, stews and summertime salads!

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal (Polenta)
(about 228g)
1/2 cup plain flour
3 TBS sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 ounces milk
85g of plain yoghurt
2 TBS butter, melted
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 large free range eggs,lightly beaten
1/2 of a tin (418g or 14 ounces) of creamed corn

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Butter an 8 inch square nonstick baking pan. Set aside.

Measure the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Whisk together. In a seperate measure beat together the milk, yoghurt, melted butter, vegetable oil and the eggs. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and dump in the wet ingredients. Stir only to moisten. Fold iin the creamed corn. Turn into the prepared pan.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is gonden brown and a toothpick insserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 15 to 20 minutes before turning out and allowing to cool completely. Cut into squares to serve.

Note - can also be baked in an 8 or 9 inch round cake tin and cut into wedges to serve.

There is a delicous recipe for Pasta with Chicken, Pancetta and Summer Vegetables over on The English Kitchen this morning!


  1. I agree about gardening and middle age. you can tell Keith is retired now because people have started commenting on how nice the garden looks. Not rocket science really - just keeping it colourful and neat.

    As for yoour little petunia! It's always the same, the plant that grows where it shouldn't grows best of all! Perhaps because that is where it would really like to be.

  2. There is hope for me yet then. I know I am a late bloomer I had my first child at 29. Maybe one I will meet someone new.

    But for today I have bought some new plants and hope to start raising some herbs. They seem to just shrivel up and die.

    Thanks for brightening my day.

  3. No matter what our age, life is exciting and new each day and I figure that we always have something new to learn and do. We never know exactly what is around the next corner either. That is a blessing and I awake in anticipation of each new day. Your recipes today look very good. I could just see myself sitting down with all that on my plate. I hope your Saturday is a super one!

  4. ...just in the past year, I have started putting corn in my cornbread. I love it! Sweet crunchy bits mixed in with soft cornbread...mmmm...

  5. You surely have bloomed where you are planted. I am always amazed at all you have so much talent blooming forth each day. I am afraid that the only blooming that I have done of late is in my waistline.... oh dear...not a good thing.
    I wish that I could see your pretty garden...maybe some day.
    Much love, Lura

  6. the title of your post is one of my favorite quotes!


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