The Medicine of My Garden

March 15, 2010

I love my garden.

I love it’s imperfections.

They exist because I neglect my garden, truthfully.

Although I believe they would exist anyway, despite my best efforts.  For you see, there is no such thing as the perfect garden. Nature has other ideas…and gardening is inherently a human activity.  Only humans would want to tinker with THE Garden that they had been given.

Tulip ala Anne...

Anne Frost, my upstairs neighbor (and fellow professional gardener) planted these gorgeous tulip bulbs in our backyard.  They have been open for the last week or so, reluctant to  expose their sexual parts to the ridiculous hail, rain and fiercely fickle March sunshine of the SF bay area.  The benefit of their reluctance is that we get to have them around a little longer.   They also teach me a (repeat) lesson about the impermanence of things.  I understand that they must fade, and so I appreciate them for what they are now.

I also wish I could have captured how really special they look against our neighbor’s robin’s egg blue wall.

Urban gardening is an exercise in letting go.

Lemon verbena trunk meets tulip meets retaining wall...

We live in a canyon of the buildings.  We don’t get too much in the way of sun back there…Sometimes it’s loud music stacked with laughter at all hours.  The humans may suffer their neighbors habits, but the plants still grow regardless of what he said/she said.  I consider this a minor miracle.   I also happen to believe that these green survivors really like their deep urban habitat.

For example, I have a fruiting raspberry patch for 6 months out of the year (!) The disappearing lemon balm reappeared!  The Forget Me Nots wink at me and remind me of both the Sierra Nevada forests and the Wisconsin woods of my childhood.   This is charmed.  This is medicine for the urban soul…

Through the looking glass...

This is a perfect nesting place for a Mourning dove?   I suspect it’s far from perfect, but it certainly is available and utilized and loved–more than I tend to realize.

The temptation for me is to criticize all that my garden is not…after all, people pay me to work in their gardens.

But the lesson of our garden is that it is enough.   It is enough for the Silver Lady Ferns, and the rescued boxwood, and the aging Pieris japonica.

And that is a metaphor for life.  My garden is imperfectly beautiful, and it is enough for me.

Mourn no more...

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One Response to “The Medicine of My Garden”

  1. Gus Says:

    Beautiful. I love your eloquence and the reminder to appreciate the now.


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