She Planted A Seed

15 Nov 2016



She planted a seed.

And, it will grow.

If you are like me, you may have spent the last week trying to make sense of how America elected someone like Donald Trump to its highest office. He was not elected to mayor, not appointed to be an aide or a local ombudsman (no offense to any those positions). He was elected to the presidency of the United States of America, arguably the most powerful country in the free world.

This was a candidate with a reality show resumé and a mouth as raunchy as a 1980’s high school locker room after football practice on a Tuesday night. This is a grown man who mocked a disabled person at a campaign event. And, this is now a president who has the KKK staging rallies of celebration for his triumph. We are living in scary times people. Batten down the hatches.

Even if you didn’t care for Hillary, the truth is, she has spent her entire adult life fighting for human rights, and was the most qualified person for the job on that ballot. She should have won. Yes, she was victorious with the popular vote, and I’m not gonna downplay how much solace I take in this. (to the tractor drivers on the our country roads: No, that bumper sticker is not coming off anytime soon!), but unless something changes, I don’t have the Madame President I was hoping for, and whom we were led to believe by the media would be shattering that glass ceiling in New York’s Javits Center last Tuesday night.


But, back to trying to make sense of things. Trying to assess feelings. I’ve been on a rollercoaster of emotions, frankly. Worse than any hormone jag I’ve ever experienced. Firstly, this really does bite. Like when someone you love dies and there is nothing you can do about it except accept it as fact, grieve your loss, and gradually go on with your life. I am grieving. I can’t cook or bake and have no appetite, which, as I try to squeeze into my denims from last winter, would customarily be welcomed. My son and my Irish family and friends want answers that I do not have. They are absolutely stunned too. For Ireland, as with many countries in the world, America symbolises greatness and garners a great deal of respect–in large part due to its cultural diversity. It is a country that is stronger together. Even though I do not currently live in the USA, I am a proud dual citizen of America and Ireland. I have voted in every US election since moving to Ireland, and we still spend a fair bit of time in the states. Our son also has dual citizenship. I love my home country. And, I am heartbroken over the outcome of the election.

I’ve been trying to distract myself with everything from taking more time to work the fields of the farm, to going completely mad and trying out extreme sports  (hilarious, but highly recommended!)

Despite my anguish, I still feel uplifted by Hillary’s hard-fought, very significant campaign. It was not for nothing! I also feel strengthened and inspired to #liveuptomygodgivenpotential, and spurred on by the powerful words of her concession speech,

“Because, you know, I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that. You know, scripture tells us, let us not grow weary of doing good, for in good season we shall reap. My friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.”

There IS more work to do. We must pick ourselves up. Which is why I have decided today, that I will plant a massive victory garden* in Hillary’s honour. Growing food gives me tremendous pleasure, beats any anti-anxiety remedy by a longshot, and takes me out of my head. I’m not a master like my friend Dermot, but I do have a bit of a green finger. The best bit is that when you sow a seed, watch it grow, and then harvest your abundance, it is an act of compassion that never fails to provide hope, joy, and wellness in your life.

So, together with my family we are breaking ground on a ½ acre allotment on the farm and planting seeds this week. I’m calling it my Hillary Garden. Never mind that it’s not the season for planting, there are plenty of overwintering vegetables with our name on them (along with a few flower bulbs too). We’ve got work to do and we will build on what we already have, and grow more and more.


Will you join me and #growitforward by planting your own seeds (even sprout or herb seeds on your window sill!)? Or, by leaving your name below and we will plant a seed for you in Ireland? (you are welcome to come visit anytime and do some weeding  too!) As the weeks, months and seasons go on, I will be documenting and sharing our progress on this blog and on social media, and hope you will too. If we all use the hashtag #sheplantedaseed #growitforward #hillarygardenwe can see and support eachother’s growth.

She planted a seed.

And, we will harvest it.

Because when they go low,


*Victory gardens were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany during World War I and World War II. Besides indirectly aiding the war effort, these gardens were also considered a civilmorale booster” in that gardeners could feel empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown.

Slan Abhaile,



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74 Responses to “She Planted A Seed”

  1. Rachel says:

    Beautiful idea. We’re with you! Love your blog, your ideas, your recipes, your honesty… thank you.

  2. Linda says:

    Re: The Hillary Garden. I have not yet found any seeds with the name ‘Hillary’ on it, but there are plants available.
    Some I have found: Peony ‘Hillary ALM Itoh’ (Pink) Seems to be widely available, esp in US.
    ‘Hillary Clinton’ Rose, bred in France
    ‘Hillary’ Cattleya orchid. Purple/yellow on white field
    ‘Hillary’s Sweet Lemon’ Mint–Mentha Dulcea Citreus
    “Hillary’ Kalanchoe…and
    let us not overlook, the White Climbing Rose Sir Edmund Hillary !
    I will update the search if I discover some seeds. The catalogues for 2017 are now rolling in.
    Good Luck

  3. Nancy M says:

    Thank you for this column. If we are stronger together even as far as Ireland, there is hope.

  4. Emily says:

    What a beautiful idea! I would be honored if you would plant two seeds on behalf of my daughter and son, so that they know that the fruits of compassion and kindness still can be harvested, even in difficult times.

  5. Sara Hayden says:

    Thank you for such a beautiful post!

    Please plant a seed for me. I’m unable to garden at the moment, but hopefully by the spring I’ll have the opportunity. I’m formulating a plan with a couple of friends. I’ll certainly send photos.

    Big hugs from across the pond ~

  6. Stephanie says:

    Lovely post and idea! She did plant the seeds for the future here, and we all need to hope and work toward them growing.

  7. Joanna says:

    I would be honored if you planted a seed in my name!

  8. Annie says:

    What a lovely inspiring idea. We are about to have our 1st freeze here in my part Oklahoma. I still have plenty of time to plant greens in the vegetable garden and bulbs for spring. While I am active in a couple of gardening groups, I’m thinking I want to get more imvoled in helping get food to those in need. Perhaps growing a bit for local food bank. I’ve grieved and ranted w/ friends and now it’s time to get out the funk and get to work.

  9. Jeanne says:

    Great idea, I love it! I will plant seeds here in Idaho and will dedicate a section of my garden too!

  10. Linda O'Neill says:

    As a gardener and an American, I am enthusiastic about your idea, I will be checking seed catalogs for species named “Hillary”, for example. Every woman I know remains in shock over the results of the election and it’s cold comfort to know that she actually won the majority of votes by more than TWO million and that we have an antiquated electoral system in place that made this horror possible. It’s important not to become numb or indifferent to what’s happening around us. We must be vigilant and recognize every injustice, every misstep every overreach that this miscreant makes and voice our opposition.

    In the meantime, please plant a seed for me and my husband. We may be by to watch them grow as we are entitled to joint citizenship , given our grandparents were born in Ireland.

    And don’t worry about Hillary Clinton. She’s not going to give up. She has encountered so many roadblocks in her life and has always rebounded. She is committed to working for women and children and the underprivileged and it will take more than a bombast to deter her.

    • imen says:

      Love the idea of a Hillary seed, have you been successful?
      Thank you, be sure to share your garden with me.
      With love, hope & healing, Imen xx

  11. Susan Stollard says:

    Imen: Reading your words today, reinforced what I believe with my whole heart. That we are stronger together and that we will be empowered by all of our sisters and brothers in our fight for equality. Your garden is a brilliant idea, and no doubt will help us heal, as well as unite, for our common goals of peace, unity and equal rights for all. Every seed that I plant in my own garden, in the spring, will go in the ground in honor of every single supporter of these rights. Please, plant a seed for me too! Ireland is deeply a part of my heart and soul.

  12. Jennifer says:

    What an uplifting post and idea! It gave me a reason to smile. I too have been on this horrendous emotional roller coaster, I actually cried, and it still has not sunk in that this “man who is a reality tv show” was elected. Every time I hear “President-elect Trump” I close my eyes and feel like Dorothy, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home” and open my eyes and he’s still President-Elect. The morning after, I turned to my 9 year old daughter and my throat caught as I said, “A woman can still be president.” I live in the rural southeastern US, a born and raised Southerner, an area that is decidedly Republican and overwhelmingly voted for Trump. I have been unable to discuss the election with many of my friends. For the most part down here, those of us who are blue dots stay in the closet. I told my husband when Hillary was first running that she would have a difficult time shedding the number of skeletons in her closet and coming out from under the shadow of her husband’s Presidency (Monica, Whitewater, the impeachment). I can only answer for why I think my southern neighbors voted for him. 1) they did not believe most of what Trump said – most of us have some crazy in our family, 2) several of them being fundamentalist Christian, were looking at the Supreme Court issue, 3) a visceral distrust of government – THEY are “coming to take our guns and our rights and and raise taxes, to give my hard earned money to those who don’t deserve it.” There is a very serious disconnect between my neighbor’s daily lives and the government and the parties. I am a disability attorney, spending my day fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves. I often hear my clients lament on how they cannot get health care. That is followed in the same breath with them blaming the Democrats and Obama for that problem. I need some seeds of hope! With winter fast approaching, I will plant some winter herbs in my kitchen. Thank you!

    • imen says:

      Thank you Jennifer, be sure to share pics of your herbs with me.
      I listening to a great podcast today on Fresh Air with Jim Fallows who traveled the country talking to people on the ground about the election. The thing that struck me most was how disconnected people feel from government actions. Most people voted due to being persuaded by the news/entertainment factor, not by how they actually feel in their communities.
      With love, hope & healing, Imen xx

  13. Jennifer says:

    I too am saddened by the loss, mostly because I so wanted my daughters to see a “Madame President” in their lifetime. For that ceiling to be well and truly shattered. I am the daughter of a Brit and carry US/UK citizenship. I have lived in the US for a majority of my adult life, but always with my strong family ties to England and home. I have never felt like a stranger in my own country (US), but I do now. I realize now that my family has been raised possibly with different values regarding ethics and human rights than that of my neighbors. That perhaps being the daughter of a Brit, the Granddaughter and Great Granddaughter of British WWII and WWI doesn’t allow me to have ethics that are malleable for reasons of economics. Whatever the reasons are that my fellow countryman voted for this man, I and my family cannot support a man that will not denounce the support of the KKK and appoints a Senior Counsel that has openly endorsed the White Supremacist movement. I now find myself renewing my British passport, just in case. Looking into my job options in the UK, just in case. Because I now wonder, when will I the “anchor baby” of a Brit and dual national no longer be welcome in the country of my birth. It is too cold to plant where I live, but I will plant an herb garden indoors that we will transfer in the spring. In the coming months I hope that it will be a symbol of our solidarity and renew the life and spirit of the solidarity our country needs now. Thank for you for this suggestion and simple show of support it is sorely needed. #WereStillHere #TheResistance #StrongerTogether

    • imen says:

      Thank you Jennifer, be sure to share your garden with me.
      I love your story of being an anchor baby. And, it makes me so terribly sad to think that you might not be/want to stay in America, the land that is great because of its diversity. Things are quite fragile in the UK now too as you full well know. The world is a changed place altogher.
      With love, hope & healing, Imen xx

  14. Samantha Kaiser says:

    Imen, your posts comes in my inbox while I am sleeping and waiting for me when I wake. What a balm this was for me on this cold, dark November morning. I have been grieving and I thank you for your kind, warm, hopeful thoughts. Please plant something in my name and I will do the same for you in my garden in Portland, Oregon this spring. xoxoxo

  15. Linda says:

    It has indeed been a rough week. You put into wriitng the feelings of many, many people. We can’t change the regrettable reality that Trump is the new president, but we can hold our congressional delegation’s feet to the fire. They need to hear from us early and often. As to your Hillary Garden, I think it is a wonderful idea. It is resting season for my garden here in Dublin, Ohio, but I make use of my grow lights for winter salad items. And for those who do not have garden space or the desire to garden, try sprouting some seeds for spouts to add to your salads or stir fry. One little window or light will also support micro greens. Or plant some paper white bulbs now for an incredible fragrance in the dark days of winter. We will survive this horrible reality – there will be tears, anger, frustration, and dismay – but we will survive. Stay strong. Hillary will.

    • imen says:

      Thank you for writing Linda, each comment here is so empowering.
      With love, hope & healing, Imen xx

  16. Isabelle says:

    I love this idea! I’ve been grieving since Hillary lost, it was such a shock. I live in an apartment and I can’t have a garden so I would love it if you could plant a seed for me, thanks!

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Please plant something for me and my daughter. I echo your feelings of numbness and shock. One day I will take my daughter to Ireland (we love the accents and the rolling green hills!) and we will visit you and get our hands dirty. Thank you for this. So much.

    • imen says:

      Thank you for writing Elizabeth, each comment here is so empowering. I will indeed plant a seed here for you.
      With love, hope & healing, Imen xx

  18. Judith says:

    Dear Imen~ Reading your post offered a bit of peaceful solidarity I have been searching for these past few days. We were already in the midst of upheaval having sold our home of 26 years with a plan to search for a new home in the next year. My husband is UK/Canada and I am pure Pacific West. He’s been longing to leave California and move to Ireland so we plan to visit along with a few other locations in the spring. I will certainly offer my weeding skills when we are there. It’s been a very difficult time and the process of growing and nurturing will be a tonic. I am learning to plant in a slightly different micro climate from the desert dry conditions we just left. We are nearer the ocean here so a bit less sun and more moisture. It will offer an opportunity to stay focused on growth. Please plant some seeds for us and we will do the same here. Many thanks for taking time to speak out with hope and clarity.

    • imen says:

      Thank you for writing Judith, each comment here feels so empowering. Will plant a seed for you in Ireland.
      With love, hope & healing, Imen xx

  19. Nan Mooney says:

    Please plant a seed for me and my 83 year old mother who thought she would vote in a woman for President and for my 6 year old daughter who has promised she will be the President and a good person. We are not giving up or giving in…

    • imen says:

      Thank you for writing Nan, each comment here feels so empowering. Will plant 3 seeds for you in Ireland!
      With love, hope & healing, Imen xx

  20. Linda says:

    I too have been sitting shocked and sad with the results of the election. Thank you for bringing forth a positive path forward. P.s. My bumper sticker is staying on too. Great idea for your Hillary Garden

    • imen says:

      Thank you for writing Linda, each comment here feels so empowering. Will plant a seed for you in Ireland.
      With love, hope & healing, Imen xx

  21. Rheagan Coffey says:

    Today, I called my congressional representative to express my dismay of Pres Elect Trump’s choice of Steve Bannon as political advisor and to encourage them to use their leadership positions to encourage Trump to choose another candidate. I have never called my representatives before today. That changes now. I will not sit idly by. At the same time, the feeling of helplessness/hopelessness is furthered by living overseas. Beyond calling, I’m not sure what else I can do. So frustrating.

    • imen says:

      Take action! I’ve left messages in MN too. Thank you for writing Rheagan, each comment here feels so empowering.
      With love, hope & healing, Imen xx

  22. Am says:

    Oh, I love this idea!

    I was just telling my husband the other night that when we have our own house I want to plant an extra patch of vegetables and donate the produce to local shelters or soup kitchens.

    I want to do some good in the world as the specter of a Trump presidency looms (still hoping this is somehow a sick joke!), but as a parent of small children I don’t have extra money to donate to charities or free time to volunteer for causes I believe. Inexpensive seeds, though? That I can do : ) .

    • imen says:

      Thank you for writing Am, each comment here feels so empowering. Will plant a seed for you in Ireland, but get that kitchen garden for shelters and soup kitchens going in the spring, great idea.
      With love, hope & healing, Imen xx

  23. Laura says:

    I think unfortunately, Hillary just didn’t have the love factor that Obama had. I dread to think what will happen in the Supreme Court now. When Gore lost the popular vote in 2000, the two conservative justices appointed by Bush, played a central role in invalidating parts of the Electoral Rights Act, no? I don’t know how her campaign staff got the rust belt SO SO SO damagingly wrong. It’s not enough that she dedicated here life, too many US “folks” had too many questions about her and the ones that voted for her, just closed their eyes and thought about Ivanka. (have you read the Buzzfeed article about the Ivanka voter?) worth a read. 🙂 Enjoy your Garden, batten down the hatches, think about Trump only having four years, imagine if he gets reelected for a second term! I cried and wanted to vomit! I’m not American. So I feel only a fraction of what you must be feeling.

  24. Karen Carpenter says:

    What a beautiful idea Imen! I so love your blog. Since it is winter here in Michigan plant a seed for me and my husband. We too have not been able to talk about it. What has happened that we would elect someone like Trump! Just more than I can even say. We felt like the day JFK died and 911! The hate crimes are starting everywhere and now he has appointed someone who is part of the “white supremacy movement”! Very scary! Thank you again!

    • imen says:

      Thank you for writing Karen, each comment here feels so empowering. Will plant a seed for you in Ireland.
      With love, hope & healing, Imen xx

  25. Ellen Kamoe says:

    I live in California and my husband is a dual US-UK citizen. We are heartbroken for our country and have been reaching out to all our friends and family to reiterate our love for our community. Your post made me cry—not difficult to do these days, but it is so heartening to see others talking about this. We must not fade into acceptance. I love your idea and would be honored if you will plant a seed for me. As soon as I can do so here, I will plant for Hillary and for you, too. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea!

    • Ellen Kamoe says:

      So sorry, Imen – I just saw that you already replied to my earlier post attempt. Please disregard the later one, and many thanks, again, for your courage and care. Xx

  26. Jessie says:

    This is such a beautiful idea. I’ve been taking my time, avoiding social media, and just grieving and processing. I work in sustainable construction and have fears about the viability of my livelihood under this leadership – which feels small compared to the fears of my minority and marginalized friends.
    I’m moving from a tiny apartment into a house with a yard next month and a garden is definitely in my plans – but until I get settled I’d love knowing there’s a seed planted for me in Ireland!

    • imen says:

      Well, rest assured there will be a seed in this Irish garden for you Jessie. Wishing you luck with your move and career. Much love Imen x

  27. Sheryl says:

    Please plant a seed for me in your victory garden, and I shall plant one for you in mine! Thank you for the inspiration of art and word!

  28. This is such a wonderful idea. We are going to do the same.

  29. Ellen Kamoe says:

    I live in California and my husband is a dual US-UK citizen. We are heartbroken and have been reaching out to all our friends and family to reiterate our love for our community. Your post made me cry–not difficult to do these days, but it is so heartening to know that we may grow together as only a global world can. I love your idea and would be honored if you will plant for me. As soon as I can do so here, I will plant for Hillary and for you, too. Thank you, and may we continue this conversation and our care for one another.

    • imen says:

      With each reply, I have tears in my eye for the hope and solidarity something as small as this can do for us all. Thank you Ellen. xx

  30. Nancy Lopes says:

    Plant a seed for me. I’ll plant one for you too. Thank you.

  31. Please plant a seed for me! Thank you for your kind words. I empathize. I’m also a dual citizen of Ireland – living in California. I cried for two days after the election and am still grieving. My husband and I hope to get to Ireland this coming summer/ fall to spend time with my family. Would love to visit and pull weeds!

  32. ellen townson says:

    Your Hillary Garden is such a fantastic idea and the perfect symbol of our times. So many of us are just devastated over here- especially with the increased hate crimes. I have also joined the safety pin movement so that everyone who sees me knows that I will stand next to anyone who needs me. I am going to plant a windowsill garden here because winter is fast approaching in Massachusetts. I would love it if you could add a plant for me in your garden, too. It makes me feel like our shared philosophy is so far reaching! I believe in GOOD!

    • imen says:

      I will indeed add a seed to the Hillary garden with your name on it. Thank you for sharing your experience. Sending love and solidarity. x

  33. Mary Jothen says:

    I will plant a seed. I will plant a Ginko because it is a symbol of longevity, hope, resilience and peace. It’s a small step, but it is something. It’s been a hard week.

  34. Kate Hipwell says:

    Please plant a bulb or seed for me as well. I am an Aussie living in the UK now, so some would say I have no stake in a US election, but as a citizen of this global village I too am horrified that such an abhorrent excuse for a person can now be President. Of anywhere.

  35. Kara says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I know a lot of bloggers have shied away from political things but I think it’s time to speak out and I really respect that you have!

    I live in a tiny townhouse with very little room (and nearly no sunlight in the back yard) but I will find something I can plant in the front in solidarity!

    • imen says:

      We must not be afraid to talk about this….we need healing and sharing is so important. I am sure I will lose followers with this post, but I have to be true to myself and we are stronger together! #growitforward She left us a legacy. Much love to you Kara! x

  36. Mary Catherine Fiske says:

    Please plant a seed for me in Ireland
    Hopefully I will visit your garden…

  37. Donna Shaw says:

    I have waited for two decades for this election as I have always held Hillary in the highest regard. It has been heartbreaking for me. My last three posts have been about Hillary and I’ve given up on the naysayers. They are from the FOX News ilk that have believed all the lies about her. She has dedicated her life for her fellow man. What a positive and wonderful thing to do for Hillary. My heart is broken, but it your garden helps to make me feel better. Please plant some flowers for me. Thank you.

    • imen says:

      Thank you for your comment, my heart is swelling too with each person who wants to grow this garden together!
      Much love! x

  38. Kim Culcasi says:

    Please plant a seed for me in Ireland! What a lovely idea. Thanks so much!

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