How does your garden grow? My approach to gardening may be a little different. In just one corner of my garden I have photinia-fraseri red robin, Belgian honeysuckle, bluebells, witch hazel, cotoneaster, kerria japonica, fatsia, ferns, geraniums and a smoke bush. Chances are I also have more than a few weeds with nettles and dandelions trying to take root here too. For my friends who like straight lines and not a weed in sight my garden can be a challenge; for those who are happy with a more organic, even haphazard approach to gardening where weeds are tolerated and sometimes even welcomed, my garden is a thing of beauty.
That corner is one of the more successful, well-developed areas of my garden. The area next to it though is still a work in progress, requiring additional definition, pruning and weeding, yet I love it, just as it is, in all its imperfection.
This patch has Alchemilla Mollis with its lime green flowers, next to grass, nettles, pink geranium, variegated willow and variegated purple Rhododendron as well as tiny flowering weeds. Yes at some point I will tidy it up, give each plant a clearer chance to shine, yet working full time and as the mother of two children I constantly face the choice of perfection versus obliteration. The easy option would be to plant something low maintenance like grass but that would crush my soul which is so blessed each year by seeing the plants spring forth from the ground and over-come obstacles. At the heart of every gardener is an incurable optimist who believes that a tiny seed or the tiniest plant or root can grow into something meaningful.
Even as a work in progress, my garden gives me and others hours of pleasure. Yes the purists and those with OCD would itch to tidy it into clearly defined zones with clear patches of earth showing and not a weed in sight, yet I would feel that the essence of my secret garden had somehow been lost. Others may tell us that beauty lies in symmetry and perfectionist ideals, my counter challenge would be to let things breathe, live a little, give a chance for accidental plant combinations to self seed and grow and develop. See what happens when plants outgrow their allotted space and jostle one another for room. The colour combinations, textures and visual impact can be out of this world.
“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? Luke 12:27-28
So how does your garden grow? Are you a perfectionist, not satisfied until every weed has been plucked and every blade of grass is of regulation length? Or is your garden a little more organic? How much is your garden a reflection of your life? Is it a mirror or the opposite – the one area you can control or the one area you can have freedom? Is it just a neglected weed patch or something more? I would love to hear your thoughts…
- Matthew 13:24-30 New Living Translation (NLT) Parable of the Wheat and Weeds “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. 29 “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”
- The Shack by William P Young talks about the garden of our life
- All photos on this post are mine from my garden taken on my Samsung S3 Mini
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