I love landscaping. I enjoy reading gardening books and magazines and then seeing where, and if, I can incorporate some of what I have read and seen into my own little half-acre of Paradise.
Sometimes I can. Sometimes I can't. This past summer my geraniums were infested with cut worms, and my gerber daisies wilted with white mildew. Growing things is always a challenge.
Living in Sacramento for twenty years, we wrestled with hard pan clay that packed like cement when it was dry. I often felt like Tennyson's poor little "flower in a crannied wall" when trying to grow anything. The forces of nature were definitely stacked against us in the heat of the Central Valley.
We once paid good money for a lovely bougainvillea. We nicked named it "Bo" and I went out each day for months to tend it, talk to it, and water it. But Bo bit the dust. Baked in the hundred-plus degree heat. I nearly cried. I had had visions of its blooms covering my back fence.
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With all the struggling I've done over this past year to try to turn an almost barren piece of land (except for a couple of dozen 75 ft. pine trees) into a gardened landscape, it was hard for me to imagine overdoing it. I mean, come on, it is tough enough just to get something into the ground, get the soil amended correctly, and then get the watering routine right for that particular plant. And don't get me started on "feeding" all this stuff correctly. Trust me, we do not have that kind of time today.
However, the other day I drove onto a property that dumbfounded me and provided a cautionary tale. It was clearly someone's vision at some point in time. There was a sadly neglected gazebo with ratty looking patio furniture sitting in it, completely mismatched to the setting.
There was pampas grass that had gotten out of control, and was now eight feet high, and hid most of the entry to the property. There was a circular drive, much like the one we had constructed in front of our house this past summer; but this one was so narrow, and overgrown from both sides that I feared for the paint on the sides of my car as I drove through it.
Most of the growth looked to be about eight or ten years old. Here and there evidence of a garden plan still existed, albeit overgrown and intermingled to the point that getting it sorted out would probably require a John Deere trencher, not just mowing and trimming.
Holy cow, Marsha! Just look at this mess. That was my first thought. My second one was, "Let this be a lesson to you, in restraint and patience."
Ah, me. I am so inclined to just keep filling up empty places in the yard that I could easily find myself living in a jungle five years from now. Fortunately, it is cold and rainy this week. All I can do is watch a little patch of grass I planted recently come up one blade at a time. (Yes, I am easily entertained. I've been know to watch paint dry with the fascination of one observing brain surgery.)
Still, that daunting mess I visited the other day, well, that throttled my jets a bit. I think I will dial my gardening goals back, for now. Good thing this has occurred just when I have little choice, since the winter dormancy is upon us for most growing things.
Guess it just goes to demonstrate once again that, as Ecclesiastes reminds us, there is a "time for everything" and purpose under heaven for all things. A time to plant and a time to refrain from planting. Growing a good life is much harder work than growing a good garden.
There have been times, when I have been tempted to just rush into filling "empty places in my life" with whatever I could plant there, regardless of whether it fit with any plan God might have for me.
Mostly I have resisted that inclination, but I am aware that it could reassert itself at any moment. Thus, I must go now, and practice my refraining skills. They are sorely under-developed.
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Hope you have a good view through whatever window you are gazing today. Until next time ... Marsha
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Question: Have you ever planted something you later regretted? Have you ever had a garden get out of control? Just asking? :)