Sunday, August 10, 2014
The most recent lesson I have learned while gardening, and in many ways perhaps the most important for me personally, is that when I go out just to do ‘walkies’ around the garden to see what is blooming and bend over to pull a weed or two (and there are always weeds), I begin to feel the soreness and stiffness of the aches and pains that greet me in the morning, the ordinary aches and pains that find us all if we are blessed to have maturing years but a bit miserable nevertheless. By the time I’ve made a circuit of the garden, which is fairly small when compared to other gardens but which seems large when there is so much to do, after that circuit and the accompanying weeding and peering at blooms, I’m much improved and ready to do the day’s work.
Next lesson: when one hears a bit of extraordinary birdsong, it should be a personal rule to stop for at least a moment and listen, really listen. Right at that moment. Birds are busy and many times they are not singing but rather chattering among themselves, but on occasion they can really produce lovely riffs and if one doesn’t listen, one may miss one of the most important points of a garden and of a day.
Then there is the situation this year, where even after an horrendously hot and dry summer last year, continuing with little rain over the winter along with an ice storm, snow storms and a bitter, really harsh late freeze after things had started growing and leafing out, we can walk around and be amazed at how so many plants seem to say “we’re still here!” So the plants in my garden teach me to be tough.
And still another lesson: most plants, such as tulips and daffodils and wild phlox and chrysanthemums, have a peak bloom season. Then they are quiet for another year. Annuals have a shining hour and then go away. Certain flowers such as those on daylilies, last only for a day and then are gone. Life is like that, too.