This Works for Me

Gardening Fixes Everything

I joke that my plants are “my sons,” “my co-workers,” “my therapy animals,” but it’s not entirely untrue

Gray Chapman
Published in
5 min readJun 20, 2019


Illustration: Albert Tercero

AsAs a freelance writer, sometimes I forget to leave the house, and I had been cooped up for 48 hours when I stepped out into my backyard to try working outside. Still, under the open sky, I hunched over my laptop screen, mindlessly clicking back and forth between a dozen tabs. A bookkeeping platform reminded me in scarlet letters of past-due checks owed to me. Five or six different articles blared a melange of terrible news. The all-hours dread buffet of Twitter rolled by.

And there it was, staring back at me: one conspicuously empty Google doc. A barren page, where 2,000 words about the new and dreadful abortion restrictions in my home state of Georgia eventually needed to be written. In their place, a cursor blinked indifferently. I closed my eyes.

When I reopened them, my gaze landed upon my Sungold tomato plant. Since I’d tucked it into a large plastic pot earlier in the spring, the plant had grown about as tall as me, and had only just begun yielding a few golden blooms. But today, seemingly out of nowhere, it had borne fruit. Noticing the tight cluster of three tiny, taut green globes for the very first time, I was…