Yesterday, while I was in my backyard, I took a good look around at my garden. I was so disappointed. My grass is all but dead…a casualty of trying to conserve water. My potted plants were just a tad droopy and some had weeds in them. My tree, normally full of beautiful purple blooms, was also droopy and had few blooms on it. My poor garden. It makes me sad.
This has been a tough year for me and my garden has suffered for it. During the first part of the year when my mom was sick, I spent most weekends either with her, or on the phone with her, or worrying about her. This was during a time when I would have normally been cutting my roses back, getting rid of (more) weeds, and getting my garden prepped for spring. My dirt never saw a trowel, my plants had no trims, my dirt remained only partially covered with mulch. As spring came on and mom became more ill, it was all I could do to water my potted plants. When she died, I withdrew and spent no time in my garden. I spent most of my time thinking over the last year; losing dad; the “dark summer”; my brother’s injury; my mom. Especially my mom. Depression got the best of me and my garden suffered for it. Then came my husband’s cancer, one month after mom passed. I went back to barely wanting to water my container plants again, but I did the best I could. Occasionally, I would ask my husband to water them only because it was hot, and they just really couldn’t go without water so he helped out while I was working.
I was worried that the neglect my garden went thru during the first half of the year, would show itself as poorly grown plants, smaller plants, less healthy stems and just blah in general. But I should have known better. Even in neglect, my garden has continued to delight me in beautiful canna blooms, daisies, roses and a myriad of other flowers. My hibiscus did well, my hotbiscus not so well. As we all know, my Bird of Paradise did very well, getting its first flower. My garden held itself together while I fell apart and I think it was so I could find some comfort in my pretty little blossoms as I gazed out my windows or took a quick stroll around the yard.
My garden came through for me. And now that summer is wrapping up and the temperatures are going to go up even further for a bit, I will come through for it. I still have my bad days, but even in the worst times my garden never let me down. I didn’t lose a single plant despite little water sometimes and little food most of the time. I know now that my garden is where I should be when things are not going well and I should take solace in the knowledge that even as things die, there is always life.
I think next year I will have a gorgeous, well fed, well watered garden. That’s the least I can do for it.
Independent Garden Consultant
The Happy Gardener