By Loraine Debnam
Although I don’t like to admit it, there comes a time when we must all acknowledge our limitations.
This spring, the vibration of the weed-eater and pushing a heavy lawn mower had become more like a chore and less like a pleasure. The end result was contracting a yard service to take care of both those jobs. But, there is an upside for me. My flowers and shrubs will finally get the attention they deserve and will reward me with blooms and fragrance. So it is with the people we care about.
Planting involves some risk. It doesn’t matter how much research and study I do, sometimes I just love the colour or the foliage, so I go ahead and give it a try. There are some plants in my yard that are not supposed to be hardy in our growing zone, but they seem to be doing well so far. I think the people in our lives are like that as well.
Loving someone is taking a huge risk. Things don’t always turn out the way you dreamed, but the friendship or relationship is sometimes stronger for having literally and figuratively gone through some dry patches and frosty cold spells, provided it’s not prolonged.
It is important the plants have enough good soil, water and sunshine in reasonable amounts, according to their own needs. But, each one has its own set of requirements and cannot all grow in the same straight rows within a strict regime of the same amounts of everything. Each must be recognized for its own comfort zone and encouraged to flourish and thrive in the setting most fitting for them.
If seedlings are planted where hot, dry winds blow across them and they don’t receive regular watering, their roots will become dry and brittle. They will be unable to stand on their own and will bend whichever way the wind blows. Constant exposure to this kind of mistreatment will lead to stunted growth (or worse).
Our families and friends can’t handle that kind of thing either. Constant anger and discord in our homes can be as devastating as the wind is to the plants. Each of us needs to be nurtured and protected from savage onslaughts.
It’s really amazing how versatile and adaptable we can be when we know we will get caring attention when we need it.
Perennials which have become well established benefit from splitting away the new growth after many years, otherwise they will strangle. While this is often a brutal process in the beginning, when the new pieces are replanted in good soil, they become beautiful examples of the fine job their parent did in starting them out.
Having been through the tough experience of having my own child move out and set up in another place, I can’t tell you how proud I am to see her doing so well, blossoming in her own life and environment.
Gardeners love to talk to each other, share ideas and experiences and freely give advice.
Since every garden has different soil, sun and water conditions, I have found listening to everyone and then using my own intuition has worked the best for me.
I do some things right and celebrate those. I make mistakes, learn from them, and move along to other attempts. So it is with our friends and family.
We can’t always do everything perfectly — we’re human. Celebrate the wonder of watching things grow and bloom. And on the grey days when not a flower can we see — look for the promise of a sunnier tomorrow.