Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gardening Should Be Fun

Today the weather is horrible, raining and very windy here at Windmill Farm. So I am inside at my computer, but my thoughts are of outside wondering what is happening in my gardens and yes, all the work that needs to be done there. But it does give me a time to reflect ABOUT gardening and how it has always been a wonderful part of my life.
I have been gardening since the first year we were married in 1968. Over the years my gardens ranged from acres and acres to small container gardens we used to call grow box sizes (now called raised beds). Some years the gardens were fabulous; other years it would be a disappointment. No matter what or how I plant vegetables, flowers or herbs, no matter the size of the space, I always tried to make my gardens as beautiful, interesting and as fun as I could.
A few years ago, my sister-in-law built a house and hired a landscape designer to do her yard. I was interested and intrigued about how someone else could decide on what a person/client would plant and where the plants would be placed. Yes, my sister-in-law had input into what colors or varieties of plants she liked, but her input was in more of her “style” for the landscaper to interpret into the final garden look.
The first few years as her garden grew, it was very nice, I have to say, so perfect and uniform, unlike my gardens. But they were rather, should I say, “predictable”, somewhat stylized, uniform, concise, and obvious. I guess I couldn’t warm up to it because it was just toooo perfect. On the plus side, the garden plan included seasonal changes so that she always had something blooming with color, Something I constantly strive to have in my own garden. Her garden did not represent my sister-in-laws style or of the house, nor was it unique and clearly didn’t include any areas for dogs, children or any whimsys such as birdhouses, statues, orbs, concrete frogs, etc. There were no fun areas for wonder, for sitting and dreaming, no areas to watch bees or butterflies. It was very manicured and precise, a place that was pretty, but just don’t walk on it and don’t mess it up with a crochet game or a puppy!
Last week I had a yard sale which brought a great number of people into our yard, expressing a variety of comments about the landscaping. Some people remarked that it reminded them of English Gardens or County Gardens. A few people commented what a bunch of work the place must take. One lady even gave me her telephone number because she said she thought we should be friends because we liked the same things, reflected by the yard!!
I even saw a young family with children looking and pointing to flowers blooming, a hummingbird on the roses; and touching a bush I call a Tea Tree bush. The mother was talking to the children as they asked questions, definitely enjoying the beauty of spring. At the end of the day, it was interesting that anyone would comment about the garden who came for a yard sale. It was a nice feeling though that what Frank and I do here, can impact and bond together other lovers of gardening.
Whenever we are driving around our community, I constantly look at how people tend their yards and pause at ones that are especially unique and beautiful.
My main point of this blog, in a long and round-about way, is to tell people to make gardening and landscaping who YOU are; to include plants and fun decorations that YOU and your family like and enjoy; to be usable, functional and beautiful. It should be gardens for family recreations, for beauty and for life.
Enjoy yours, don’t fret about mistakes or problem areas, have fun with it!!

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