Garden Musings · Perennials

Perfect Moments in an Imperfect Garden

It is not uncommon for gardeners to get frustrated about weeds growing in their gardens. It seems as soon as we head in the house, thistles, clover, creeping Charlie and all the others exploit our absence and grow … well … like weeds.

I knew a few years ago when I shifted my priorities from working 70 to 80 hours each week to a healthier work/life balance, returning my landscape to its once beautiful condition would be an uphill battle. Weeds of all sorts had taken advantage of my inattention and the perennials, after studying the manual on Darwinian principles, demonstrated them perfectly. The strong survived; the strongest became thugs; the weak held on for dear life; and the weakest died.

So I started. One weed pulled at a time; one perennial divided, moved, or planted at a time; one bed or border mulched at a time. And the work continues.

As long as the shovel keeps digging, the garden knife keeps prying, and the garden cart keeps moving, I am making progress and I am happy. Changing my life’s direction has me viewing my landscape through rose-colored (or daisy- or coneflower-colored) glasses…most of the time.

Every so often, I see the work that still lies ahead and feel overwhelmed. While moving a sprinkler the other day, I noticed several weeds popping up in a border recently renovated and my spirits sank into the soil along with the water from the sprinkler.

And then, as it always does, the garden provided the moment I needed.

As I turned my head, the flowers of Rudbeckia ‘Herbstsonne’ captured by attention. Sunshine was lighting their golden blooms held high on sturdy stems. They were fantastic!

My gaze moved to the seed heads on a shrub-like clematis – not the magnificent puffs some vining cultivars brazenly boast, but unassuming charming lovelies.

I decided to grab my camera and look for other moments in the landscape that made me smile. With each photo, my optimism grew. After all, gardening is as much about the gardening as it is the garden (for me anyway).

The zinnias, planted to fill space while perennials matured, were delightful.

The sprinkler had bedazzled flowering stems of ornamental grasses.

Russian sage was getting friendly with the coneflowers.

The birdhouse, purchased many years ago, is weathering beautifully.

The garden always gives me what I need. On that day, it shared with me perfect moments in my imperfect garden. What does your garden share with you? How does it lift your spirits? Share your stories and garden with me!

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