"to have 'green fingers' or a 'green thumb' is an old expression which describes the art of communicating the subtle energies of love to prosper a living plant."
So writes Russell Page (1906 - 1985), British garden designer, in his autobiographical The Education of a Gardener.
Sometimes that communication is from your fingers, sometimes from your eyes. I was reminded today of the expression, 'Loving comes from looking'.
Some colleagues and I had been to a nursery to get plants and there was the general lament that however well you choose plants to be low-maintenance, some clients seem not to understand that plants are living and have to be tended. There followed a discussion comparing plants and their needs to children, perhaps subconsciously extending the nursery metaphor! You look long and lovingly at your children, and your plants, and somehow it gets them in order and helps them thrive.
Even when you're away from them, they are in your mind's eye.
statue is in the formal garden at Waterperry Gardens, near Oxford