Then what? A message that has been planted in my mental garden. Message’s are sent to enlighten, advise and to share knowledge. Sometimes we are sent messages to make us think. If you listen carefully, the garden sends us message’s that we might miss if we are simply too busy.
As I become more seasoned, I listen to my garden and listen carefully to the messages of gardens I visit as well. Quiet time spent mentally communicating with the garden leaves me full and rejuvenated.
Neighbors and Friends…
Last Fall, my neighbor George informed me that John had passed away. They were not just neighbors, but brothers in law. The three of us were friends. If you saw one, you saw the other …or the other one was not far behind. Both of these gentlemen are gardeners. I was honored when they came across the cul de sac and asked me to identify a plant. I walked over and handled the task at hand and they both grinned from ear to ear. George shared that they discussed whether I could identify it or not. I am so glad I did not disappoint them. They understood the message my garden across the cul de sac shared. They often watched in wonderment as I planted flower after flower.
All flowers and no lawn signals that I want to be surrounded by beauty and enjoy my garden each and every day. I plant closely so that weeding is kept to a minimum, use mostly perennials and seed the areas where I want unexpected flashes of color. I have no need for a manicured suburban lawn. George and John’s lawn’s are perfect. Especially from where I can see them…from the sidewalk.
As I walk by John’s place daily, it is almost as if he will be out in a minute. The buckets are still strategically placed for gathering weeds, and the mulch bags lay in place, ready to be slit and spread. Some mornings I convince myself the John will be deadheading the Iris’s and strategically moving the yellowing daffodil foliage later in the day.
A bench sits empty on the shady side of the house. Perfectly positioned to sit and pause on the hottest of days. John would welcome me to chat and discuss all things gardening, of course. John’s garden, with what appears to be a fishing pole leaning against the lamp post, appears to be silent. Although, the message I hear is, “Who will take care of us? ” What a meaningful message from a well loved garden.
“How many plant’s did you grow?” he asked. “I think I have 12 or so”, I answered. Uncle Shorty in his own way said “That’s all you grew? I am gonna need more than that.” So I started more collard seeds (even though I grow more than collards) because Uncle Shorty needed more collards. Mostly because he was my very “Real, OG” Uncle, I grew a whole packet of collards. I was going to show him that he would eat those words.
I knew Uncle Shorty was quite ill. All of us assumed we would have more time to listen to his wise words, extreme logic, as well as discuss current events…HIS way. Uncle Shorty had raised beds built last summer to accommodate a substantial crop of assorted greens. Not kale, no tomato’s…just collards.
My Uncle Delman, the last sibling, shared a moving eulogy at the funeral. He shared a message that applied to life…and the garden. A eulogy that asked a question which is now always on my mind. The words from Uncle Del planted deep thoughts in my mind.
A question – “Then What?” – was the title of the eulogy. As I age, this has crossed my mind on occasion. We select, install, coddle and adore the gardens we create. After all is said and done, then what? Our gardens are personal, in a sense. It is our tastes that matters – rarely anyone else’s. The gardens we curate and maintain reflect a personal version of what we consider beautiful. If we do not love and care for them…then what?
We debate on buying that expensive tree. Justifying another hydrangea comes easy. 20 just might not be enough, 21 is better. If we don’t stay on top of watering and things wilt while we vacation, then what? Not feeling like consistently maintaining the “perfect” garden, then what? If you can never just sit and enjoy the beauty of the garden, in the early morn or in the still of the evening…then what? Is it a garden, more work, or is it just something else to do?
Make time to listen to the messages that your garden is sending you. At the end of the day, if it brings you joy, buy that expensive tree. Purchase all the annuals you want, take that trip to the far off garden, and eat gelato for breakfast (so good first thing in the morning in the summer with melon). When is the perfect day, the right time or that special moment? The garden, just like life is ever evolving. There will always be a weed to pull, a limb to prune or a perennial to divide. If we choose to do everything right now, we are missing the message from the garden.
Listen to the message from your garden. If you do not make the time to listen now…THEN WHAT?
Make time this month to pause and listen to what your garden is saying…
From My Heart…Teri, Cottage In The Courtby