26 July 2016

The Un-Contained Garden

Comparison is the death of joy.
~ Mark Twain



P
interest is an enabler. 

Every time I go on there, I am reminded of how messy and imperfect my life is.

A couple of weekends ago, some friends and I sat and re-wrote and discussed our writing projects under the shade of an apple tree. And we declared it good. Then I looked up gardens and entertaining in the garden and drooled over pictures and photographs of pristine English gardens.  And I declared my back yard a disaster. 

Standing several feet from my garden last weekend, it was undeniable.

Because the grass was so high after days of rain, that I was forced to stand several feet away or risk getting attacked by ticks or the very remote possibility of stepping on a copperhead.  (Haven’t seen one in years but it would just be my luck.)

I quickly became morose.  How was I ever going to make my ratty backyard look like something out of Downtown Abbey?  It would take a landscape designer, a mason, a construction crew, and a mountain of dirt and crushed gravel to make it happen.  Not to mention since we try to live as organically sustainable as possible, I would have to hunt down organic flower growers.

My vegetable garden | © Mikaela D’Eigh
And then the rain stopped, the lawn was mowed, and I was able to spend time digging in my gardens, weeding, transplanting, and getting dirt under my manicured nails. (Who says you can’t look pretty while getting down and dirty?) 

And standing on the freshly swept patio, looking at my herb garden and the orchard beyond, it struck me like the scent of a hay field after a storm: this is the view my heart needs.  

A proper English garden is lovely, yes.  But the confinement, and the straight lines, and trimmed hedges don’t fit my personality.  I’m all about curves mixed in with straight lines.  

And when my straight lines meander carelessly, I let them.

My patio would lose the open view of the side yard and orchard if I put up trellises and walls.  The view from the picture window in the kitchen would feel dark and dreary if we added a covering.  And paths are well and good, but what mysteries and views would I lose if I allowed a path to force me in a certain direction?

In that moment, I fell in love with my gardens and my yard for the first time all over again.  My beautiful land, with her lush curves and soft edges, is more French Impressionism then English River School. 

And that suits my un-contained heart just fine.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

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