The gardening casserole …

Most of us are at a loss for what to do to help someone in need. Regardless of their situation, we often feel helpless and somehow wish we could in some small way ease their pain or sadness or merely lessen their load.

I discovered long ago that I was not going to be the one to knock on the door with pyrex in hand delivering the familiar-homemade-with-love-and-nutrition-casserole in their time of turmoil. Nope, that’s not me. I don’t cook, so that would be a major chore with less than satisfying results.

Fortunately though, I have learned that the ‘helping’ does not have to be restricted to the plate of food or even the card or flowers. And although the warm hug and compassionate ear are essential there are lots of other small acts that also provide comfort.

Personally I have settled on gardening as my ‘casserole’ of choice. I recognize that someone’s surroundings typically reflect them … their current state of mind, body or soul. And often it’s just the lack of time that prohibits them from getting it done.

Entering their yard armed with time, talents and tools, the weeds get pulled, the plants get nurtured and the space gets beautified and restored.

This gesture is a satisfying one. I know it serves as much purpose as feeding their bellies or inspiring them with my words. It not only feels good to do something for a friend, but most importantly it enhances the beauty in their lives at that moment. It may not solve their problems but in a small way it does offer both calm and comfort to their situation.

So I challenge you to determine what your ‘casserole’ is. And once you do, be willing to give it away. The world will be thankful for it.

P.S. kudos to my Yard Duty friends who continue to freely offer their own time and talents to the ‘gardening casserole’.



  1. You described so well how I feel when we complete a job. I love the look of nature in all its beauty and to bring that into someones life is very rewarding. Thank you for the time I spent with you doing just that!

  2. We know of a “casserole” that was delivered yesterday. 14 neighbours and friends showed up at 9:00 a.m. at Ed’s cousin’s cottage . Bill is diagnosed and fighting a Stage 4 brain tumour and is suffering from stroke similar effects. These lovely, beautiful people came together to clear brush, chop wood, dismantel an old shed, tear up roots (so he can move around outside) and generally make his world outside the cottage “right”. They were there almost 8 hours and gave a gift of undescribable comfort to Bill at this stage in his life._

  3. Hi there: heard of your work, love the site and all the insights! I just looked out my window as my dear husband delivered casseroles to three neighbours (all dealing with aged and illness right now) – my hubby did snow removal, garbage and blue box delivery and picked up newspapers and delivered them to the door where retrieval is easier…and has done it now for three days. In return he often comes home with homemade jams, chili sauce, bottles of wine, papers, magazines and chocolate treats…payment which I neither expected nor required but never the less deliciously enjoyed with gusto. Doing good deeds is payment enough, and saying thank you with little treats makes everyone feel good. Keep up your inspirational work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *