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Dear Tracie

September 9, 2011

Dear Tracie,

My name is Ellyn D’Agostino and I loved reading your Zen of Yardwork article-I can truly relate!

Let me start off with how true to the heart it is. About fourteen years ago I became a foster parent and have seen some pretty disturbed children over the years-after all, at that time my daughter was twelve with no problems and today she is almost 26. So what a wake-up call of words, tantrums and explosions of little mouths that clearly heard and saw way too much in their young lives. In our training we are taught not to react and respond to tantrum-throwing, yelling children. Well, well, well. Let me tell you when the school age child (who now had friends in the neighborhood) threw those fits and said those lovely, choice words, I opened the front door to water our lawn and as the child followed me in the midst of their tantrum, they’d see their own friends walking or riding by and suddenly realize they were kind of making fools of themselves. That put a quick stop to the tantrums!

To this day, I use this “technique” on my own 4 small children and we have a beautiful, bountiful garden! They understand that I will not subject our household to the tantrums, but if they want to put it out there for the world to see, it’s all theirs! Boy, how quickly they stop and how green my yard is due to my Gardening Therapy! Never got so much done in my life!

Thanks for the great article, Tracie!


Ellyn D’Agostino

Dear Ellyn:

You made my day! The fact that you took the time to write (and write in long-hand, no less) when your days are obviously filled to the brim means the world to me.

I’m glad to hear that you’ve also embraced the Zen of gardening when it comes to dealing with kids. It’s amazing how ripping weeds out by their roots, sprinkling a bit of fertilizer and revving up the chain saw for the heavy stuff helps de-stress you on even the most challenging of parenting days, isn’t it?

Thanks again for your beautiful letter, and namaste, gardening guru.



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