28 May 2009

gardeners’ hands no. 1

One morning in April I was standing in the shower looking at my hands. They were battle-scarred from working in the gardens without gloves for two days: dirty fingernails, grime ground in to the fingertips, the backs of them covered with scratches (I’d spent an hour pruning the blackberries). It struck me that they were true instruments of cultivation.

Last year I posted a photograph of my favorite rake; so I thought: Hmmm, why not post a photograph of my most useful gardening tool? But a photo of just my hands would be kind of boring—I mean, really, who cares?

And then I had an idea: Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a whole bunch of gardeners’ hands in the same place so that one could compare and contrast them? An online photographic exhibition of the hands of all my friends who garden would be neat and personal and fun, I thought.

And then I thought: Well, get cracking! Maybe I can convince a few of my gardening friends to send me photos of their hands and a sentence or two that I could post here. So I wrote to Anna at Flower Garden Girl, Nancy Bond at Soliloquy , and Wing Nut and Curmudgeon at Weed Whackin’ Wenches, all of whom sent beautiful photographs and a few words about the photograph and/or their hands.

I want to post more photos of hands, but I need my gardening friends’ help! Will you send me a photograph of your hands, preferably both hands in one frame, either fresh from the garden or all cleaned up, and maybe a sentence or two or more about them? My e-mail address is jb*sta*mm@*y*aho*o.com (remove the * and type what’s left into your address field).

Here is the first installment of gardeners’ hands:

Anna at Flower Garden Girl: This photo was taken in my laundry/sewing room where all the gardening books are stored. It’s also the place where I have the Gardening Card Project, several quilts that are unfinished, many pieces of memories I could not stand to part with, and it is the source of all things smelling good. I love the smell of clean laundry. I’m a nurturer. I cradle my family and friends and hold them gently in my heart. I always knew I wanted to garden, be a mom, be a wife, and be a friend. I was not born for fame but had a desire to shine in the hearts of my loved ones. I have a thing for hands ’cause they tell a lot about a person. I have my mother’s hands. They do not have long fingers but they are strong and sure. They can be counted on, and you think of them when your tummy starts growling. I didn’t use to wear gloves but I’ve gotten so I do. I like to keep my hands nice for MrD. However, I cannot plant the small six packs of annuals with gloves on. It just can’t be done. I do love the Foxgloves that are thin but I also go through quite a few pairs of cheap old hard-working gloves. They are too heavy to wash so I just go get another five-dollar pair. I might feel differently if I had a really nice pair but have never owned them.

Nancy Bond at Soliloquy: These hands have dug in a lot of dirt, done a lot of dishes, soothed a lot of boo-boos, and held a lot of hands—both as a mom and in my work as a paramedic. I guess it’s okay if they start to show their age.

Wing Nut and Curmudgeon at Weed Whackin’ Wenches: Here is our pic: “Picking rhubarb”!

My photograph is from last spring when I redug the daylily bed. I have my dad’s hands: long fingers, squared-off nails. I know I should wear gloves, but like Anna, I really like to feel what I’m planting or pulling. The result is that from April through November my hands are dirty and covered with scrapes and scratches.

Neat, eh? Now will you send me a photograph of your hands?


  1. Anonymous10:17 PM

    Jared, these photos are just wonderful! How good it is to see the hands of those we've come to know as friends. I think you can tell as much about a person from their hands as from their eyes. This was a great idea, and I can't wait to see who else might participate. :-)

  2. Anonymous11:57 PM

    Thank you for such a sweet post. I do love your hands as they look like MrD's. He has long fingers and is smart like you. He's also good looking like you!

    Look at Nancy's hands and makes me want to give her a hug, sit at her table and pick her mind, and make her fix me some of her wonderful food. I love her hands. Mine are showing age but I don't mind one bit--it means love has spread far and wide Nancy. You have beautiful hands.

    Curmudgeon and Wing Nut have beautiful nuturing hands too. And they look strong like mine. Makes me want to sit down with them over a good bowl of hearty soup with goodies from the garden. You know they got the best veges! And it's that twinkle of humor they add to life that adds to the experience. They would make the best of friends.

    Beautiful post and beautiful people. I hope others will join in.

  3. I really enjoyed this post - thanks! I almost always wear gloves - I probably have 20 pairs. I have thin ones for weeding and thick leather ones for stacking wood and my Ethel gloves for in between.