For the gardener, spring is a time of cultivating and sowing… preparing the earth… planting the seeds of new life.
Each year, I begin by clearing away the debris that winter has cast off and tilling the soil to prepare it for receiving new life. This task always seems daunting at first. I gaze out over the landscape, pondering, planning, designing… Where should I start? What should I do with this barren patch by the fence that has been usurped by dandelions and pokeweed? Can I shape it into something beautiful and meaningful?
And then I remember that gardening is not supposed to be a competition. It’s not about driving yourself to a constant state of agitation because something needs tending, mending, nurturing, or pruning. It’s about looking for ways to enhance the raw beauty that Nature has given me to work with. It’s about simply enjoying and appreciating the beauty of my own creation.
Sometimes I just sit in the loose, freshly-tilled soil of the petunia bed or in the freshly mown grass bordering the hosta gardens, letting Mother Earth cast out my own debris, clear out problems within me. It is in those moments that I understand that gardening becomes a way of growing into a new life.
Nurturing young plants to maturity requires vigilance. But Nature is patient and compassionate with me, sending out small warnings when I neglect my responsibilities as steward… stalks droop, leaves wilt and turn brown, petals fall to the ground. You’re not holding up your end of the bargain! they warn.
If you take care of your garden, it will take care of you.