I celebrated the return of neck function by getting busy in my garden with my husband and daughter yesterday. Other than the “champagne problem” of getting sunblock in the eyes, it was a painless, productive and rewarding day. And fun! This morning as I enjoyed my coffee on the back deck and reveled in the rewards of several jobs done well, I realized why it was so satisfying to me. Pretty much every task spoke to my values.
- Planting a Wisteria vine
- Small, but beautiful. It will take four years for it to bloom, but I like putting down my roots and investing in the future.
- Dividing hostas - Yeah yeah…I know we’re late to be doing this. In any case, by dividing hearty plants, it’s giving them room to breathe and thrive. And by proliferating, beauty is spread.
- Planting annuals – This is not a good investment (see #1) but I like pretty, bright things…and am impatient for my perennials to flower (as are the bees).
- Turfing unwanted plants – I know that the difference between a wildflower and a weed is mere desirability. I also know that I’ve spent the last six years since we’ve bought the house feeling duty-bound to see the beauty in some of these ghastly creatures. It was time to give myself permission…and boy howdy did it feel good. Every plant in the garden is now officially there because we want it to be. We will apply the same liberating logic to the invitation list of our next social gathering.
- Planting vegetables I know will never yield a bite – I have never succeeded in serving a single tomato from my garden. Oh, I’ve grown them…but the moment they turn a pinkish hue, the animals of the ravine behind our house establish a war room to draft and execute a coordinated offensive attack on our backyard. I’m pretty sure they flip us the bird as they retreat.
In spite of that, at my daughter’s insistence, we planted a bean and carrot patch. And a tomato plant. My husband is plotting some futile defensive measures (likely involving a broom handle and a helmet fashioned from our large colander) but the ravine beasties will nonetheless enjoy a satisfying reprieve from ransacking our garbage.
- Seeding the lawn – this is my husband’s thing. He revels in lying on a patch of relatively lush green in our backyard on a sunny summer afternoon. It’s his way of celebrating the little patch of the world we can call our very own. Honouring his values honours mine. (However, our sandy soil is his perpetual white whale—he's giving it one more year before we completely naturalize.)
Sometimes a rose is just a rose. And sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s even more.