Yesterday I hosted a lovely group, Cazenovia Area Senior Association, for a tour of my gardens and lunch. This was the culmination of months of planning, planting, cleaning and weeding.
As anyone who loves to entertain as I do knows, the last week can throw monkey wrenches into the most carefully thought out schedule. To make it worse, I have a compulsion to find new treasures that would just be perfect for this or that purpose at the last moment, necessitating a lot of moving things or plants to new places.
In that crunch time, the zen of gardening sometimes is lost in the stress of just getting it done, but as I worked, it helped to tell myself one thing again and again. You can only be in one place at a time, so be there. Enjoy the flowers’ beauty and scent, the feel of the leaves as you prune and shape, creating order from chaos. Hear the birds, enjoy the breeze or shade or sun.
Yes, I’m thinking of other things [such as my column ideas] or singing along to my iPod in it’s weatherproof speaker case, but it calms me to fully engage in the one chore in front of me.
Another lesson is to do macro jobs before micro jobs, such as weeds that are big are pulled before the tiny seedlings in the front of a bed. Time to “speed weed,“ which only allows a bucket and a pair of gloves. If you ever watched Sesame Street, just sing along, “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things does not belong.” (You’ll never get that song out of your head now — sorry)
Rip out the invaders, trying to get a root, too, but it’s okay if only the top comes off. A bed can look great in an hour, so maybe you’ll have time and the inclination later to do more with that inspiration.