Praise the Young and They Will Flourish.

"Praise the Young and they will Flourish" is the translation of an old Irish saying. Carina reflects on her childhood and what she learned from her own grandmother - and what she now has the opportunity to pass onto her own grandchild.

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Praise the Young and They Will Flourish.

Our son shared the above photo of our grandchild, Aoife, pottering around in their garden last week. As soon as they moved into their new home, he and his daughter spent time planting up a vegetable patch and there was great joy seeing those first carrots appear. She is now fascinated by all the new Spring flowers appearing as the daffodils pop their heads above the soil and grow before her eyes.

Seeing this photo brought me back to my own childhood and visiting my grandmother’s garden in north County Cork. My grandmother – Babe May O’Donoghue – was a busy farmer’s wife with her house always filled with children and grandchildren. I don’t know how she found time to ever visit the garden. But visit the garden she did and when I was there she took great delight in showing me around. I remember that garden clearly. It was at the front (i.e. the “good” side) of the house but as was the tradition of the time, we all used the back door and so the garden was rarely visited and admired. Perhaps it was this secret aspect of the garden that attracted me at the time.

However, my grandmother often took the time to chat with me as we strolled around the garden, admiring the tiny box hedges which surrounded different planted areas laid out in a geometrical pattern. Standing proud in the middle of it all was a huge monkey puzzle tree. When I visited I loved to hop in over those little hedges and run around inside this exotic maze. 

Now, I’m a grandmother myself and I’m passing on my grandmother’s love of gardening to my own granddaughter. Last summer we had great fun together planting up their garden and then eating the lettuce from what was clearly labeled “Aoife’s Vegetable Patch”. Seeing that joy in her eyes brought me back to my own special time with my grandmother and reminds me of the wonderful gift of appreciating nature and gardening that my grandmother passed down to me and I in turn to my own grandchild.

In my own garden, I have an unusual iris plant that came from my grandmother’s garden and I hope to pass this on one day to Aoife. Like many of the wonderful things in life they are enhanced when we share and pass them down through the generations.

What about you? Do you have a hobby or love that you are passing on from your grandparents to your grandchildren or later generations?

I’ll leave you today with a beautiful Irish saying we have about our children:

Mol an Óige agus tiocfaidh sí.” (pronounced “Mull on oh-y-ga aw-gus chuck-hig shee”) translating as….

“Praise the young and they will flourish.”

Slán for this week,


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