Every so often when it comes to gardening, I get very antsy.
Today, as I was gardening and shifting things around, I started thinking about autumn being around the corner and all that I wanted to plant and *do*.
The bromeliad pups need to be split off from their parent plants. The basil needs to be repotted. I need to research and order new tomato seeds. I want to grow more of the ingredients that I use in the salads I eat twice a day so there’s that, too.
Oh, and I need to start more sunflowers since the ones I planted several weeks ago are finally starting to bloom. I want to have them blooming all season long, which means I need to get more started.
And then there’s the butterfly garden. The Four O’ Clocks that I planted from seed are coming up beautifully, and the more I learn about them, the more of them I want. I started thinking about starting more seeds and then transplanting them in the front of the house. Which led me to thinking about where I would love the (now giant) Coleus that I planted there in late spring.
And then I started thinking about the landscape in general, how I want to rip out two of the scrubby grey trees that came with the house and replace them with small citrus trees. How I want a peony and a camellia and some ranunculus and maybe some more roses, too. That shouldn’t be too difficult, right?
And how I’m considering throwing a few black-eyed-susan vine seedlings into the ficus on the side of the house, which lost all its leaves earlier this summer due to over-zealous trimming. And whether that would be amazing or really stupid (Tom thinks it would be a bad idea, I’m still tempted- how cool would it look to have little flowers peeking out of the ficus when it’s all grown back? I have to do research, though…)
And how I want all of this to happen *now*.
I spent a few minutes feeling like I should get out every empty pot in the yard and start hundreds of seeds and start making calls to have the scrubby trees removed (there’s a septic tank under there somewhere) and how I should maybe go out front and get those coleus out NOW and…
and then I stopped and relaxed.
What is a garden, if not a perpetual work in progress? I mean, if all the gardening is done, it’s basically a landscape.
A garden is alive, a garden is constantly changing. Seasons change, climate changes, the sun shifts, and the daily requirements of every single plant out there fluctuate with all of that. Also, my interests change, my passion for certain flowers come and go. I discover new plants, new seeds, want to try new things.
And then my skill improves the more time I spend out there- I’m developing a sense for what each plant needs based purely on engaging with it on a long term basis. I *love* that. If I get it done in one fell swoop, then what’s left?
There’s no need to get it all done now, make all these ideas comes to fruition RIGHT AWAY. I can do a little bit of a time. I can work towards my goals a little bit every day for the next few months, the next few *years*, instead of feeling like I have to get them done by this weekend.
It was kind of a cool moment, to feel myself shift into a more relaxed mode about it all. It also made me wonder about life in general (as gardening so often does…) How much of day-to-day life is “a work in progress”? I mean, I’m one of those people who runs around with a million ideas and goals, trying to get it all done NOW, right away, all at once. I’m a terrible multi-tasker. The garden is the one place I *can’t* multi-task. I can’t dig up a plant and just leave it with its roots exposed while I run off and tend to something else. The garden is the one place I have to stay on task, focuses.
Maybe if I just started seeing *life* as a work in progress, as well- something that constantly evolves and shifts and changes- I can relax a little bit outside of the garden.
It astounds me how much my garden teaches me about life. It’s truly one of my greatest teachers. I know that sound hokey, but I mean it with every fiber of my being. It’s powerful stuff, this gardening thing. I highly recommend it.