The most common reason I’m called in as a garden coach is that the person I’m meeting with needs an outside perspective. It’s really, really hard to evaluate our homes and gardens from a logical, clear place in our minds and hearts. Sometimes, we’ve had arguments with our spouse or kids about what we’ll do when. Often there have been friends and professionals who gave advice that almost fit, but…
You still felt that crazy tangle of feelings in your mind and heart about what you should do. Not clarity. Not certainty.
So what happens? You really want to be outside and in the garden. You want to look outside and feel that everything in your domain is settled and thriving. There’s a small part of you that feels unfinished and wrong, that this part of your home isn’t reflecting your spirit and being what it should (whatever that may be).
Occasionally you think – well, I know we won’t build a sunroom or deck here. I can plant a few things. But because your heart isn’t aligned with your head, you don’t fully invest. You don’t have confidence that you’ll keep things alive, that it will be beautiful, that this is it.
And things fail.
I’m here to tell you that it’s OK. More than that, it’s common.
Everybody disagrees with their spouse about whether they’ll put a deck or sunroom or hot tub here, or there. These are often mythical sunrooms that do not ever happen. Nobody has the money and time to put in exactly the garden they want, in the timeframe they want, and then to maintain it like they want. Everybody’s garden has imperfect spots. And barring an OCD-like mental illness, they likely always will.
If I can help you be sure of one thing, this would be it:
Your garden is not permanent. It is not perfect.
Also… You are not permanent. You are not perfect.
But the things you do today will blossom, if you trust the process enough to put in the groundwork. Fix the soil, focus on one area at a time. Do not aim for perfection in the garden or in the plan, because it doesn’t exist.
There is no plant that stays 6′ tall, blooms year-round, and goes with that terrifically ugly statue your kids made that you will never, ever get rid of. This is a blessing. It means that whatever you plant will be OK.
You can appreciate it when it looks great, and try to overlook its lack of grace when it doesn’t.
Something will always look out of place, or need pruning, or maybe even a compassionate trip to the compost heap, if it really isn’t working out.
And that’s what gardening is. It’s getting OK with the fact that our lives have limits. We won’t accomplish everything. All we can do is live for today, enjoy what beauty we can create, and try to leave things a bit better than they started.
If this post resonated with you, you might enjoy this article on how to “see” your garden clearly and figure out what to do next.