A pep talk

We do grow some unusual things.

It’s going to be a few days before Glinda posts anything.  Unlike me, she has a fairly inflexible schedule.  However I was thinking about the garden today while I was cleaning out the cat boxes and remembering something that she and I were saying while we worked outside over the weekend.  That is: No matter what your garden looks like, it’s beautiful.

The reason I want to say this today is that whenever we start getting ready for gardening season, I become aware of friends who want to have beautiful gardens but for whatever reason — lack of funds, lack of space, physical limitations — simply don’t feel they can.  And it seemed to me that they’re precisely the people who need to take this idea to heart: It’s your garden, that makes it beautiful.  The other thing you need to remember is that any garden, even if you throw a lot of time and money into it, needs at least five years to begin to come into its own.  At least.  Most gardens begin to be right at about ten years.  But that doesn’t mean years one through nine are going to be not beautiful.

This is that our garden looked like before we moved in.  We found these photos on the kitchen counter of what became my apartment.  We said “ooooh” and “aaaaah” and made plans.  But when we looked at the garden that spring we realized that it wasn’t our garden, it wasn’t what we wanted.  It was impossible to mow the lawn (about which more in another post), things were at weird angles, there were too many disparate elements and, oh yeah, the photos were kind of old.  Old enough that the space in front of the glass block window was occupied by a 10 ft. tall magnolia instead of that ginormous shrub.  By the time we moved in, the house had been empty for at least two years and the garden had suffered.

That spring we lost two rose bushes, discovered that the wisteria only blossomed on the top of the garage, but would routinely try to kill anyone walking to the back gate, watched helplessly as the honeysuckle developed some sort of black goo and shriveled up, and the only thing that we seemed to be able to grow on our own was squirrels.

Five years later we still haven’t gotten the bones right, though this year we think we may have figured it out.  We have a lot less money to spend, but we also have some hard-learned lessons about what it is we want to be doing out there.

My point?  Do what you can and enjoy it.  Don’t be comparing it to anyone else’s garden.  Even if your garden is just a couple of clay pots filled with tomatoes and marigolds, it’s a garden and it’s beautiful.

Okay, carry on.  Glinda will be through here in a day or two.

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