Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row
I spent some time looking at my garden this morning and I don’t like it much and I tried to figure out why.
I inherited it from the previous owners and it had been allowed to grow wild and neglected for years and I feel no connection to it and derive no pleasure from it.
I miss my previous garden, I’d invested lots of time, effort, and it has to be said, money, into it and I’m not there to watch the clematis grow, the honeysuckle, the roses, the hydrangeas, the multitude of poppies the beautiful ornamental bushes and shrubs I’d chosen and planted and coaxed into growth.
This garden has lain neglected and overgrown for years and very little looks worth saving from where I’m sitting.
And yet, there are some beautiful plants amongst the ugly ivy and rhododendrons (I hate ivy and rhododendrons.)
I’m going to have to spend some time in the garden, getting to know it, exploring the hidden corners and pulling back the overgrowth to see what’s underneath.
There may be some things I want to keep, hidden jewels in the midst of woody, overblown bushes and shrubbery past its prime.
I need to look at what would work here, what can I transplant from my old place to this new one. I need to consider the change in environment, soil, weather and how much time and energy I want to invest right now.
Clear the old and make way for the new. Sounds like life doesn’t it?
I know! Gardening is such a cliche in well being. But that’s because its relevant and true. And works both as a metaphor and a physical activity.
I want a nice garden. I have to do the work. I want a nice life, I have to do the work.
Clear away the old. Trim what I want to keep, cultivate, feed the things I want to keep and revive to full health. Then add in the new.
Create a full, satisfying garden by mixing the old and the new, investing in good fertiliser to create fertile ground for growth, get expert advice based on the current garden to bring out the best of it.
Same in life, read good books, take training, learn, create fertile ground for ideas and growth within, get help to take me forward faster, stronger.
Also, be patient. Feed, water, nurture, cultivate.
Some things might not work, might not be in the right place and may need to be moved to different parts of the garden. Some things may turn out to be not what I wanted and need to be swapped out for something else. Its all just lessons to learn.
And some things grow and bloom and bring such pleasure and joy, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Sometimes, it helps to be still and look and see what we’re not happy with. But then, its time to take action, to get up and do something about it, to make changes, whether its pulling up weeds, trimming back overgrown shrubs or planting new seeds.
Its time for me to go out in the garden and get to work. I’m inspired to create a garden that fills me with pleasure no matter the time of year or which way I approach it. Its not just the finished result but the work itself will give me satisfaction and joy.
Its the same for life. Create the one you want to live. Clear away the weeds, trim back old thinking, create space for new ideas and ways of being.
And the work is always there, to be done every day, just like a garden. And the work is the pleasure. Sitting back and enjoying it on a fine summer evening is the icing on the cake.
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