Saturday, June 01, 2013

Garden Party

Coral bells, coreopsis, delphinium, Lily of the Valley
This spring I finally decided to take ownership of my gardening. At my last house I had spent tons of time outside, planting and working on my perennials, my herb garden, veggie garden, various apple trees and planting nut trees, working on the look and joy of my gardens. Then, I was forced to move. I wasn't happy about any of it and went kicking and screaming. This house didn't have anything I really could bond with and even the layout went against my nature.

Over the last 17 years with so many deaths of those I've loved, plus, the death of my "dream" home and not fitting into this community well, I've floated along, not really caring how anything went. I was angry and grieving quite a lot. Each year I'd put something in the garden (perennials being my favorites) but since this place was mostly shady, I had a hard time finding what I should put out. Nothing worked. Many plants and trees died. I continued to feel everything was ugly.

 But then last year I started to feel some ownership. I discovered some plants that did well here in spite of the harsh, clay soil and lack of sunny areas. Hostas were not only thriving, but huge. Coral bells work. Lily of the Valley was out of control. And hummingbirds showed up and entertained me.

This hosta has leaves larger than my hand.
One of the things I'd done was tear out lemon balm. First I had moved it from the backyard to the front. Then I realized it was about invasive as a weed. I had it growing everywhere--and I hadn't planted it there! So I ripped out tons of it and THREW it over the hillside in the woods. This year I noticed lemon balm--growing profusely along the woods' edge by the yard. Tons of it. And it looked nice. It's fragrant when crushed and grows in neat bunches.

The Lemon Balm I never planted, but just threw over the hill!
I also noticed that the wild plants that grow in our woods were encroaching our nurtured areas and I liked them. Mayapples, sassafras trees, blackberry bushes, wild ginger, and Queen Anne's Lace--I felt like welcoming them. They grew into my heart, as well as in my yard. I didn't plan it, but somehow I felt I needed to include such things into my plans. I did. And it made me happy. 

More Lemon Balm (and a geranium) but this time I planted it here and it's doing well. 
Sometimes these Purdue gnomes and my turtle, Henry, take walks in my gardens. You never know where  they could show up!
I still had some editing to do, but things are shaping up and I feel peaceful. Even though I am still not included  in many places, I feel I've found peace and my own world right here in my home. I used to spend a lot of time looking for another place to live. I'd dream of selling this place and moving somewhere that I could make sense of everything and feel included. But this summer I feel differently about it. I know I'm not still not included in communities around me, but finally I feel a peace with where I am and am content on being here and making my own world by writing and tending those right here. 

The view from my front porch isn't perfect, but I like what I see. I feel  peaceful about it and don't mind that I'm rarely included elsewhere.

It's not a bad place to be. I know that God meant for me to be here. He made it abundantly clear I was supposed to be here, even 17 years ago. I can't really see His purpose for me in that, but it did force me to go outside my immediate world and reach out to others all around the country in the writing world. 

I know that being in God's will is a good place to be and maybe my heart is finally catching up with it all, maybe even healing. There are some people gone from my life forever either through their choice or by death, but I'm finally ok with that. I can put roots down right here for the moment and if it changes tomorrow, well, then, I know God has me in the palm of His Hand. Just like my Lemon Balm, thrown out from the garden and tossed on the hillside, I took root and found nourishment and plenty...and it's a pretty place to be.