Perennial Problem

If the garden across the street is to have another banner year, this must be it. Gardening is, after all, kind of my only job right now. Since my last post, I have spent at least a half hour over there every day, pruning, weeding, raking, and making piles of debris. I'm trying not to burn out; there's still a lot to do.
Newly-Pruned Tea Rose Bush
The previous owner of our house, who was, among other things, a crack gardener, must have abandoned the garden as soon as we signed the contract to buy the property. She had endured some tragic circumstances, so it was understandable. Every spring since we moved here (this is the fourth), I have attacked the project of rehabilitating this garden. 

At the end of the yearly frenzy of weeding, raking, and pruning, it looks pretty good. But soon after that, the pace of the season picks up, and the garden across the way gets neglected. By the time I get back over there, the amount of work to be done is overwhelming, and I give up, and after that it becomes a complete overgrown mess, and I get mad at it and at myself.

I guess part of the reason why is this feeling that the garden is not really mine, but it’s my duty to maintain it, because it’s obviously the product of careful consideration and a distinct aesthetic. Duty, though, is not much fun.

I’m not saying I could do any better. My tastes in perennials tend to run towards flowers. Big, bright flowers, the showier the better. There is the potential for real tackiness in the perennial garden of my imagination. 

Besides, I don’t even know what most of the plants are. And some of them I just hate, like the one with the giant thorns that is the only plant I’ve torn out of there completely. Why would anyone plant a thing like that? Or the bush with the delicate leaves and pretty pink flowers that has insinuated itself into every unoccupied spot in every one of the beds, often right next to less hardy plants that then have to battle for sunlight, water, and nutrients. I’m working on replacing some of these invasives with plants I like better: I’ve planted several colors of day lilies, Siberian irises, strawberries.

Even so, the garden across the way is easy to ignore. There’s nothing else over there, so we aren’t either, and there’s plenty to do and see on this side of the street. I have often wondered what the creator of the garden was thinking, putting it over there. Today I think I finally figured it out. 

See, in addition to being a gardening person, she was also a yoga person. One of the rooms in our house features the "om" symbol, painted in blue, as a border (it's a tiny room at the foot of the attic stairs that we use for storage). Even though it makes me feel the opposite of serene, I can see that the garden would be an excellent place for daily meditation, or something of that nature. Then, when you were done with that, you might weed a bit, like in a relaxed way. This kind of attention, I guess, would keep it beautiful and serene. Maybe I should try it this summer, after the garden and I have resolved our dispute.
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1 comment:

  1. I think you are correct since the centerpiece of the garden is a circle. Try walking around it a few times and maybe you'll find it calming - or not. Anyway, the garden will always be special to all of us who attended your wedding there.