By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Gardeners are good at sharing. Maybe it’s the joy of nurturing tiny plants to maturity – you take too many photos, bring people bouquets to show off, and divide plants for friends.

Gardeners share advice too – sometimes, stern instructions about how you’re doing it all wrong, but the better wisdom comes more cordially.

Long ago, before I really got into gardening, my friend Kathleen gave me encouragement that’s stuck with me ever since. An artist, Kath’s eye for design and easy-going style always made even a simple bed she’d cut from a corner of the lawn or a few pretty pots on her porch seem perfectly placed – colors complementary, very focused, but never fussy.

I pointed out a plant that I didn’t recognize back then and she said, “Oh, that’s easy to grow, you want some?,’ and with a quick flick of the trowel, she gave me a present – not just of a cutting, but of courage – that I could grow it too! A gift of gardening confidence that will never die, but only multiply as I continue to share Kathleen’s kindness and pass it along.

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