In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.  ~Albert Schweitzer


Cultivating friendship is much like cultivating a garden.  You just don’t plunk a plant down and hope it grows without any effort.  If either is to evolve they require many of the same things in order to thrive over time.  Time being the operative word here.

It is another Word for Wednesday hosted by Donna@Garden Walk, Garden Talk.  The word for this week is evolve or to develop gradually.  Friendships and gardens need time to evolve to their fullest potential.   There is work involved if we want success in both these relationships.  And I do look upon the garden as a type of relationship or friendship.    So what are the important aspects for promoting healthy relationships, friendships or gardens?

1.  Giving-What you give is as important as how you give it.  Does what you give enrich the relationship?

2.  Encouraging- What do you say or do to assist or inspire your friend, your garden.

3.  Understanding-Do you know them well?  Do you see what they need?

4.  Flexible-Sometimes you have to let things happen in their own time.  Friendships and gardens don’t grow according to our schedule but according to their own.  So go with the flow and reap the rewards.

5.  Accepting-Everyone is different and it is in these differences that we learn from each other.  Respect these differences, cultivate them.

6. Available-Make time to spend with friends, and make time to be in the garden to experience it; help it grow.

I have been blessed by many friendships over the years.  Last week my hubby and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.  We have a very close, caring loving friendship, and I think that is because we do practice the aspects above.  Friendships don’t develop or evolve because we spend every waking moment together.  Yes at first we are enamored with our new found relationship.  Then as it evolves, we come to respect our time apart as much as our time together.  I have a very special, dear friend who no longer lives close by.  We don’t talk often.  I am not a phone person, but once we get together on the phone or in person, we just pick up where we left off.  It’s as if time stood still for those in between times waiting for us to pick up again.  That to me is the mark of a true friendship.

And it is so with my relationship with my garden.  Come spring we pick up where we left off in the fall.  Glad to be back together after such a long absence.  Anticipation is high waiting for the first sprigs of green to appear, the first blooms to open.  I lovingly care for her as she awakens.  As our time together evolves, the garden grows stronger.  It erupts with growth, color and fruit; strong from those warm months each one of us giving unselfishly.  As our time to part nears, we spend as much time together as we can making memories, trying to capture them in pictures and saying our goodbyes until we see each other again.

One of my first posts was entitled, Grief.  I talked about my memory garden and how I plant flowers that remind me of loved ones departed.  More recently, I have been receiving blessings from friends and garden friends in the form of, what else, plants!

Several years ago my mother-in-law, Clara, gave me a Christmas cactus that she had for years.  It suddenly wasn’t doing too well, and she hoped I could care for it.  I took the plant and cared for it.  It is well loved, and it returns the love of fertilizer, water and wonderful warm sunshine outside all summer with oodles of blooms for months on end.  When Clara passed away in 2005, I wanted something from her garden to put in my mine as a remembrance.  The orange chrysanthemum pictured at the top of this post is the plant I chose.  Her mums grew 2 feet high and 2 feet wide.  They were her pride and joy.  This one took a while to thrive, but it loves its new spot near the pond.  The sunshiny flowers remind me of Clara.

Students from a former job grew these gaillardia from seed in their greenhouse lab.  They gave them to me for my garden.  These flowers have evolved from tiny starter plants to a mass of plants just seeding themselves all over.  They are very special to me.

My dear friend who lives so far away gifted some of her most prized flowers to me before she moved.  The ‘Kopper King’ hibiscus (pictured above) was her favorite and she wanted me to have this because she knew I would always give it great care.  It took a long time for it to evolve.  It needed just the right spot.  Once it thrived, I divided it and now have it growing in a few more spots.  Wherever I see it, I am reminded of her.

My NY blogger friend Becky, at Plants and Stones, gardens SE of me in the Catskill region of New York State.  Becky had a post about her wonderful irises which I admired.  Before I knew it, Becky was emailing me asking if I would like some of her irises that she was dividing.  Of course I would love any she would be willing to give.  Here is what she sent.  They arrived in June and with the drought I thought it best to pot them up until fall.  They have been thriving all summer in wonderful soil waiting to be placed throughout the garden.  I can’t wait to see these beauties bloom next spring.  Although Becky and I have not met, these pass-a-long plants have kindled a wonderful friendship.

I had a couple more local garden friends give me poppies and irises for my garden.  I always find just the right spot for them; they are like a new friend.  And aren’t gardeners such wonderful friends.  We readily share advice and plants with others who cherish plants and gardens.  We welcome the plants to our gardens, and care for them as if they were our own waiting for them to evolve.  And they do evolve; becoming our own as we love them.



The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when they discover that someone else believes in them and is willing to trust them.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Special Note:  All plants pictured are pass-a-long plants and greatly cherished in my evolving garden.

I’ll also be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday and Tina’s PicStory Weekend Flowers on Friday.  So drop by to check out all the wonderful flowers.

Hope you enjoyed my first post at Beautiful Wildlife Garden, If You Build It….  I blog the first Saturday of every month at BWG.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.


Shameless Book Flaunt–For those that have asked my poems were published in the book, The Moment I Knew. You can order the book from the publisher Sugati Publications where more of the proceeds go to the womens’ groups chosen by the authors.  Free shipping from the publisher as well.  You can also order it from Amazon soon.  I hope you enjoy the book and I would love to hear your feedback on my poems.


  1. Becky says:

    Donna, As we read each others blogs over the coming winter months I ‘m sure our budding friendship will evolve into a blossoming one. I hope the iris plants will do the same in the spring. I’m pretty sure Mom’s iris will bloom for you. The others may take longer . Some things take more time to evolve than others. Now I will watch with anticipation for Iris buds in your garden as well as mine. If we were friends as kids, we would have a race. Have we evolved past that?

    • Donna says:

      What a fabulous comment Becky. I hope we can visit each other this year. I also suggested we get together as NY Bloggers to Kathy@Violet Fern who is in the North Country. I think we have passed the race phase but who knows how youth will spring as the warm weather comes again. I cannot wait for the beautiful iris to bud. We may have to do a dual post on the iris this spring and our blossoming friendship!!

  2. Donna says:

    I am glad your wrote this piece, friend. I can see why you are blessed with many friends because of how you approach your friendships. Your list of important aspects is one to think about and follow daily. Friendships do evolve over time and sometimes, a really long time. I too mentioned plants we receive and how that changes a garden, but did not mention how it forms and evolves relationships. That is a wonderful thought and a way to carry the theme of evolution. What a thought provoking look at Evolve. Thank you in advance of W4W for preparing such a fine post.

    • Donna says:

      Oh Donna my friend thank you!! Your meme is an inspiration and helps to focus my writing now. I am so glad you liked my take on evolve…I have been saying that we NY Bloggers need to plan some time to get together in the spring or summer. I will keep this as a goal and see if we can’t perhaps meet and take a few trips and tours. I am sure I could be a hub for Becky and Kathy for sure and perhaps we can carpool to you. Then if we go N or SE you can come my way and we can go visit them. Of course I am determined to visit Carolyn in PA too…

      • Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens says:

        That’s a great idea. Let’s plan a date so our friendship can evolve!!! I am glad that I took the time to read the comments because it makes me so happy to be mentioned here in a discussion between the two Donnas. Blogging would be no fun without you two.

        • Donna says:

          Oh aren’t you sweet. I am game for the spring so name a good time for visiting your garden…you have made my blogging so worthwhile friend!!

  3. Sheila says:

    Hi Donna, I hadn’t really thought of friendships evolving – blossoming, maybe, or dying. But “evolve” is a much more accepting way of thinking about the inevitable changes in friendships … An old friend contacted me on FB this week asking me for specifics on how I was doing. Despite being super busy, I responded in some detail, and with honesty. So far I have heard nothing back. Yes, friendships evolve, and we can’t hold on to what was …

    • Donna says:

      Sheila I feel a great kindred spirit with you and am so glad you liked the post. Friendships are hard sometimes. I have had to let some go because it was time…I do believe that some are not meant to last but were there for a purpose at some point in our lives. Others will last a lifetime. A High School friend and I were recently reunited and we got together to take a short ride to her friends house who is a gardener. Her friends and I hit it off and I am sure we will get together more often. We made each other laugh and I am thankful we have found each other again.

    • Donna says:

      Esther I have to continually remind myself. Life seems to get in the way many days and then I am reminded usually by the kindness of a friend. I find when I write these posts it serves as a reminder to me to be more consistent too…again it all evolves at its own pace…

  4. debsgarden says:

    Great points on how to cultivate and nourish a friendship, and a garden! Thank you for the reminder. Too often I let the day’s busyness prevent me from reaching out to a friend, which is ultimately much more important.

    • Donna says:

      Deb it is wonderful when we can look past that busyness…it is hard many days though but friends and the garden remind me in subtle ways…I owe a phone call to a dear friend and my mom who is also a dear friend. I better make sure I get on it 🙂

  5. HolleyGarden says:

    What a great post to compare a garden to friendship. So many times we wonder why the friendship is not ‘blooming’ anymore, but it’s just resting, or going into a new season. I love that you have so many plants in your garden that remind you of friends and loved ones. That is one of the best things about a garden, I think – the memories.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Holley and I am glad you liked the comparison. You are so right that the best thing about a garden is the memories. They are different every year and we look forward to having so many more each season!!

  6. Elephant's Eye says:

    Tomorrow we are doing the lunch with IRL friends. Then I will disappear back into the garden. But first I’ll make her a bunch of flowers, gathered in the garden and inspired by blogs of how tos by florists.

  7. tina says:

    Many congratulations to your husband and you on your 14th! This post makes so much sense for all of us. I love reading how everyone interprets the words too.

  8. PlantPostings says:

    One of the greatest joys of life is continuing to evolve. I agree with your take on evolving friendships. Some evolve forever, and can be picked up at any point and continued for a lifetime. Others fade away. Same with the garden. Thanks for the sweet thoughts on your Word for Wednesday post.

    • Donna says:

      So happy you enjoyed it. Our lives are changed by circumstances we never see coming…we just follow it along with the flow just like nature in the universe….it is our reactions to those circumstances that shape us…realizing our lives are forever changing gives me hope for the future and enjoyment in the present.

  9. One says:

    Excellent idea! I’m sure no one else thought of relating the garden to friendship in this meme.

    I see that you do have many gardener/blogger friends. That is only natural because of what you practice.

  10. Lona says:

    What a wonderful posting. You are so right Gardens like friendships need nurturing. I have found gardeners to be so giving since I started blogging.

  11. Andrea says:

    That is another way of working on ‘evolve’. Donna really made us think for these W4W, and we provide ranges of thoughts. Like you I have also evolved some friendships through blogging, and realized that bloggers are a bunch of peaceful, kind, honest sincere folks. Your flowers here are so unique and beautifully captured.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Andrea. I was just visiting your blog and was fascinated by the huts and their uses. One sees them today used in resorts and how odd the original people who built them no longer use them for shelter but storage…quite an evolution.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Heather and welcome to the garden here. I enjoy the meme because it does allow us to express an idea in so many ways…come visit anytime!!

  12. Karen says:

    Donna, I loved your take on the W4W…you have really found the heart of what evolution means to a gardener, complete with plants growing and gardens changing and most especially, dear friends, old and new. I also read your ‘Grief’ post and was so touched, much the same has happened to me. We have a lot in common, I’m 53, live in the town of Oneida (WI) lost my father in 2001, and also am in denial that winter is almost here.

    The blogging world is something I never thought I’d be a part of in my wildest dreams. Our youngest son told me one day, “You should write a blog”, and sat down and showed me how to start. What a monster he created–no more time for cleaning house endlessly and fresh-baked cookies– I have to blog.
    I’m so glad he introduced me to this medium, it has been wonderful. So good to meet you, and thank you for sharing your life with us.

    • Donna says:

      Karen how wonderful to have been connected through our blogs. Just the fact that we both live in an area called Oneida (mine is Oneida Lake and River) in 2 states of course both named for the same Native American tribe. I am so touched by your comment and so glad you were touched by the Grief post. It is dear to me. I never thought I would blog either but a friend got me to thinking about it and like you everything waits because I have a post due every Monday and guest posts at different times of the month. How wonderful and enriched our lives have become because of blogging and gardening.

  13. Laura @ PatioPatch says:

    Lovely to watch your blog evolve into a hub of virtual and real friends that congregate round your wonderful words and images.
    p.s. thank you for your recent words of friendship – they were much appreciated x

    • Donna says:

      Thank you Laura so much for all your friendship and kind words. I have missed you greatly and am glad you are around a bit. I am but an email away. 🙂

  14. The Sage Butterfly says:

    I like the analogy of the garden and friendship needing the same ingredients to thrive…very true! My irises have given me a fall surprise. A couple of them have decided to bloom recently even though they are not described as rebloomers. I like these kind of surprises in the garden.

  15. Greggo says:

    thanks for sharing. You show your passion in your writing. I would imagine your writing has evolved. Thanks for the nice comment on my repose post. Greggo.

    • Donna says:

      Greggo so nice to see you here. Glad you enjoyed the post and I would say my writing has definitely evolved. Loved your W4W post!!

  16. Autumn Belle says:

    A good post on this time’s W4W! I feel the same regarding friendship and garden plants as fond rememberance of loved ones. Congratulations on your anniversary and the 14 years of accomplishment. May you have many more.

    • Donna says:

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment and your congratulations. I am so glad the post was meaningful to you…I enjoyed your post as well.

  17. Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    Having just reconnected with an old friend that I haven’t seen in years, your post really resonated with me. There are more parallels and similarities between friends and gardens than I’d really considered before. You’re right though, many of the elements that are required for a garden to bloom and thrive, are also important for friendships. Both, fortunately, can be forgiving of some oversights, providing we return to cultivate them again.

    • Donna says:

      I loved your comment about both being forgiving as long as we cultivate them. You are so right. How wonderful you connected with an old friend. I have as well. So glad you could visit and that you enjoyed the post!!

    • Donna says:

      Nell Jean you are so right. Garden friendships have been some of the best friendships for me and how I have made lasting friendships…so glad you were able to visit the blog!!

  18. Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams says:

    Donna, you are among my “special bloggers” the ones that I save until last so I can savour the posts…this one is especially beautiful.

    A memory garden is such a poignant idea…someday when I have a larger garden, not just a patio, I hope to have one also. A loving tribute to the people who have meant so much to me.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

    • Donna says:

      Oh Jen you are too kind and you have me misty eyed with your kind words….I also savor your posts…your blog is very special to so many people.

  19. Indie says:

    A great post! I love how you compare friendships and gardens and what it takes to make them flourish. Some friendships are like trees, and I know they will stand the test of time. Others tend to come and go, but add beauty for the time.

    That is also so wonderful to have a memory garden with plants that connect you to others. A beautiful idea!

    • Donna says:

      Indie I love your comparison of some friendships to trees. I can just picture it…So glad you enjoyed the post and the idea of a memory garden. Although not my idea, I loved it so much I had to do it.

  20. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden says:

    I am a little late getting around to see how everyone interpreted “evolve” Donna’s W4W. I am impressed by how very creative everyone has been. I would not have thought to link friendship, gardening and the word evolve. Over the years I have come to really appreciate friends. I absolutely agree that friendship, like a garden, needs to be nurtured. Have a great weekend!

    • Donna says:

      Jennifer, so glad you were able to visit my W4W post and that you enjoyed it….our friends and gardens are so important to our lives aren’t they!

  21. Bill Brikiatis says:

    I recently connected with someone who was a friend from my earliest years. It was a great time, and I think we both enjoyed out time together. I don’t make enough time for friends.

    • Donna says:

      Bill how wonderful to see you. It is hard with our busy lives but I am trying to make more time and the blogging has been a wonderful way to make and have friends. Hope to see you more often on your blog and mine!!

  22. Tootsie says:

    what a beautiful piece!!! thanks for sharing it !

    I am so lucky to have such a great group of gardeners to share with…thank you so much for linking into my little party today…I look forward to many more posts as wonderful as this from you!!!
    I hope your week/weekend is just what you hoped it would be!!!
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

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