The staff at the retreat center has a small vegetable/flower garden, about 8 feet long and 3 feet wide. Two lawn chairs sit beside it, and that is where i go to make my daily phone call to my sweetie (since i'm not on a silent retreat).
Two tomato plants, 3 poles for pole beans, a squash plant, about 3 feet of carrots, 1 basil plant, sunflowers, and roses. In other words, this very small garden needs very little tending. Yet it brings great happiness, not only to the people who planted it, but to the string of people who go out there (at a distance from the retreat center's main buildings) to call home every day.
Our formal meditation practice can be like this: a small patch in our busy workday, at a slight distance from the people and activities of our life. If we tend our small practice daily, the results will make us happy, and, after a short time, bear the fruit (or vegetables) of the spiritual life.