I’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible out in the garden – whether I’m writing, reading, sitting or maybe even gardening. It’s been a rough year to do that so far. July has arrived and I haven’t gone more than two days in a row without having the heat on in the house. The windows are still covered with winter’s film, because it’s mostly been too rainy out to bother to wash them. A cold, rainy beginning to the summer. Roses balled up and rotting, strawberries molding, slugs doing what slugs do. We won’t even talk about the tomatoes and basil.
And while I’ve gotten a lot done in the garden this year, mostly I’ve spent my time writing. I (and many other gardeners) have a bad habit of looking at our gardens as the place filled with weeds, pests and unruly plants. Basically, a mess. It’s always about the negative and being critical. Most of us don’t approach our gardens with delight.
When I get into that mindset it takes effort to turn it around. So the other day I went out for a walk specifically to find cool things happening out there. I brought along the camera so I could share, although my skills as a photographer are strictly amateur. I’ll get to that someday!
So here are some of the things I saw. A gorgeous species lily, given to me by friends. They’ve just started blooming.
Plume poppy with leaves larger than my head.
Plume poppies, I love their leaves. The flowers are fairly nondescript. I made a cast concrete leaf out of one of the frilly leaves a few years ago.
A Cordyline in a container that’s beginning to come into it’s prime.
A view of the koi pond.
Our koi pond, still a work in progress, plus Michael’s birthday present – a golden, weeping beech tree which we’ll plant. Soon.
So, as I walked through the garden, noticing all the beauty and cool things happening – roses bursting into bloom, butterflies, bees and birds going about their business and our goofy teenage cats disrupting everything, I tried to return my thoughts to finding the amazing, which I know exists everywhere. At first I had to work really hard to look beyond the weeds smothering plants. The longer I spend out there, the easier it gets and the better I felt.
I was talking to a friend the other day. She said, ‘I’m trying to focus on abundance. So far it hasn’t really changed things, but it makes me feel better.’ It’s the same sort of thing. How can you change your attitude to enjoy life more? Of course it doesn’t change the reality that your garden is filled with weeds, or that your story’s not working, but it can change your perspective enough to give you hope. Hope that you can make a dent in the weeds when you go out to work. That you can find the point where the story went off track.
Hope makes moving forward possible. And delight makes life joyful. Something that I think most of us don’t get enough of.