lessons from a pomegranate

When it comes to plants it doesn't take much for me to fall in love. The littlest detail can push me over the edge. Color. Texture. Fragrance. When I was a child and first developed an obsession with houseplants I became enamored with the idea of growing fruiting plants inside. As someone who grew up in the midwest, things like orange trees seemed very exotic to me. It's not really surprising that I fell in love with the romance of a potted citrus plant in my windowsill. And then many years later I discovered the dwarf pomegranate.

My first pomegranate plant was so beautiful. I spotted it at one of my favorite garden centers. It was filled with flowers and the plant was such a perfect lollypop topiary shape. Of course I couldn't resist it and I brought it home. It was beautiful (I looked for a photo, but that was back in the days of film and I can't seem to find one in my messy and incomplete collection of film photos). Beautiful until it lost all its leaves over the winter. I assumed that I had killed it (I have killed quite a few plants over the years).

And so I got rid of it. To this day I still kick myself for that. Later I read that pomegranate plants sometimes drop their leaves and go dormant over the winter inside. When I decided to try again with a pomegranate I did not despair over the sad looking sticks that my beautiful plant became inside during the winter. Instead, I waited, watering it when dry and watching for signs of life. And they came. The leaves returned and the flowers returned. My little tree was not dead, just deciduous.

My little pomegranate plant taught me to never give up hope. A lesson I learned again when trimming it one spring after it had started to leaf out again. I accidentally trimmed off the branch where all of the new growth was sprouting and was left with a little bare trunk. There may have been tears. There were certainly many apologies to that little bare trunk. But I did not give up on it. And you know what? It grew again.

It's still growing.

Newly leafed out with fresh green growth.

Isn't that what most of gardening is all about? Hope. New beginnings. Fresh starts. Challenges and setbacks, yes. But those are never the end of the story. Or at least, they shouldn't be because there is always a chance to start again. Every spring is a chance to start again. We just need to keep the faith. Work hard and believe that our work will pay off. And never give up.

I think that's a good lesson for life, too.


  1. Great post Anne. I often give up on things right at the last minute when if I had just persevered a little bit longer.........who know what the end result would have been? Your plant looks beautiful. I love the shape and the composition of it in the photo.

  2. What a beautiful little tree! I'm not much of a houseplant gal but you inspired me with the Meyer lemon and I think I need one of these, too. ;)

  3. Anne, what a beautifully written post, what a beautiful wisdom and lesson about hope. What a beautiful love, relationship and romance between you and nature you described. So good to visit your blog again. Big hugs to you and thank you so much for your like :) on fb!


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