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A Note From Ketzel

Ketzel and Scott Simon Ketzel and Scott Simon talk about gardening in a time of tragedy.

Dear Friends,

In the days following September 11th, I wanted to quit my job at NPR. I was consumed with feelings of inadequacy and uselessness, as I listened to my network's astonishing coverage of the kinds of breaking news and difficult stories I lacked the hard news training to do. Gardening seemed a preposterous beat.

Then, one recent morning, I crawled out of the sadness and despair that have dominated all our lives, and realized that perhaps digging, planting, weeding and pruning had never mattered more. After all, to be a gardener is to believe in beauty, and to believe in beauty is no less than a reason to live.

So. Let's talk plants.

Assure me you will be planting bulbs for spring, even through tears. Tell me about the trees you've planted in memoriam, the plants you're growing from deceased friends' gardens, and the gardens you've helped tend when the gardener never came home. Tell me how being a gardener has helped you through a loss, or just through a hard time. Remind all of us, who may be poised to forget, why we garden. These stories need to be told.

I look forward to hearing from you at


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