and hanging on and letting go…
As I flailed around during May, reeling from Mother Nature’s multiple challenges while wringing my hands as beloved plants took hit after hit, I reminded myself: #1 I have no control over Mother Nature, #2 all things are temporary, #3 a gardener must be resilient.
My love of the earth and passion for most things beautiful and fragrant, began decades ago. Before the age of seven I remember lying under the tall patch of blooming Persian lilacs at our Long Island home, content never to move again.
At age eighteen, I left home for college, and was away from lush gardens. I quickly learned that a sunny park across from my dorm could fill my need for green. As a BFA graduate, my first job took me to Portland, Oregon where I was mesmerized by the artful Japanese Gardens and the historic Portland Rose Gardens. I could have stayed there forever.
Alas, years later, with roaming days behind me, I found myself working on Capitol Hill. Whenever possible during lunch hour, I strolled the magnificent grounds of Congress designed by Frederick Olmstead, and frequently lunched on the edge of the marble fountains outside the Supreme Court. Those were the days.
In 2000 I departed the urbane, and put down roots at my first country house. The abode turns out to be a needy box, yet the half-acre provided me with a tabula rasa. No more containers on the postage stamp balcony.
Once the mistakes of former owners were obliterated, my gardening intuition prevailed, as it does today, sixteen years later. Following numerous consults with garden experts, I quickly surmised that my intuition was the light to follow. Recently, as I glanced at my archived plant tags, I removed 50% of my original purchases. Either the plant tags lied and specimens quickly outgrew their place, or plants failed to thrive without frequent spraying. As a master gardener who is intolerant of needy plants, garden edits are becoming an annual ritual.
Hours in the garden provide solitude amongst the songs of wild birds, handsome toads, and the occasional reptile. When the sun rises above the cypress trees, I step indoors and enjoy views out every window. The passage of time in my gardens is what sustains me. The beauty of thriving plants inspire me. Ten thousand photographs later, I attempt to share moments of bliss.
Every garden reflects the gardener, and often inspires on well after the person who tends it; or for that brief moment in time, a place comes alive in this time, and perhaps lives on in memory.
Planting and working the soil teaches us that there is hope despite adversity, that during the most difficult times, all things are temporary, and as in life, a gardener must learn to accept change, hang on to every fleeting moment when perfection finds its way, and to let go with grace.
Copyright © 2016 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved