Passion in the Garden and Out

There are times when I think back to when everything was new and I was just starting out – in married life, in school, in homemaking, in gardening, in my job. What first occurs to me is what parts of my life I have loved and which ones I didn’t know then, but that I hated.

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Gentian Blue

I was very successful in school, won a scholarships to high school and to college, but looking back on it, I was unhappy and unfulfilled; it was something I had to do, society and my drive required that I succeed, that I compete and win, and I did.

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Boxwood in the front yard

But I didn’t have the feeling of satisfaction that I do when I look at DH or when I get my hands dirty in the garden. There is no competition in either case. There is a laid-back, see-what-happens, plan for fun, don’t-miss-anything kind of contentment and excitement. Sitting in the back yard is an activity all of itself, watching the sun set, the clouds change shape overhead, feeling the breezes, and thinking (and if I have my notebook handy, recording) what trimming, weeding, digging, dividing, or replanting takes priority or at least shouldn’t get forgotten.

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Flower bud on star magnolia in the back yard

I don’t like to clean house, but putting things away and finding places to stash stuff away is okay. The house is just never clean enough or tidy enough. I try to picture it as a friend visiting would see it, and maybe it is the streak of competition to do as well as the magazines show a home that gets me. I am shocked, absolutely shocked, at how fast time passes and how often the toilets need brushing again, the horizontal surfaces need dusting, the cobwebs caught, the glass on the light fixtures need spritzing — again!

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Rhododendron in the side yard

I never get caught up on weeding, but somehow that doesn’t bother me as much as being reminded to dust again. Why is that? It is less pleasant to weed in the heat, than being able to turn on the AC and dust. I have an allergy to dust and will get all sweaty no matter how cool the house is when I do dust (which is fairly infrequently) so I attribute my distaste for the task to that, but my lack of satisfaction with the outcome might have something to do with it too.

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Daylily in the back yard

It seems there is a great deal of difference visually in the garden between weedy and weeded, between floppy and trimmed, between crowded and spread out, between an empty garden bed and a bed full of abundantly blooming and growing green!

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Late summer in the back yard

And I find the photos of other gardens on the web, whether prize winning or not, are rarely eye-popping to me. (Although you might enjoy my Pinterest boards!) Maybe in this regard, beauty IS in the eye of the gardener. I admit that I am proud that neighbors stop on their walks by and tell us how beautiful our yard is. (Oops, there’s that comparison stuff – competition? – raising its ugly head again.)

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Dogwood berries in September

Okay, maybe I have put my finger on it, just by journalling and blogging – I may be good at gardening and not at housekeeping, and that’s why I’m out in the garden – I’m good at it and it doesn’t feel like work. Isn’t that what a life’s passion is about? Isn’t that why DH and I have been married for 40+ years, known each other for 50 years, and still don’t want to miss anything in the life we share – DH and me? Yeah, that’s it….Live abundantly, Y’All!*

I have just recently found the Garden Writers Association website and their program “Plant a Row” for Hunger program. This is right in tune with our request to you all to plant an excess of your vegetables and fruit and give the excess to your local food pantry! This is a reminder. Click on the sites highlighted above to find out more! Bless you!

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Front yard sugar maple in late October

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