2017 Garden Reflections And Seeking Balance

I had to laugh at myself for deciding to review the garden over the past year. For one thing, I came across an almost completed draft of the 2016 garden review, abandoned.

This year I have been so disconnected from working in the garden, allowing it to become overgrown and weedy, that I have been loathe to photograph it in its true state. I stopped buying plants or even visiting garden centers; stopped walking the meditation labyrinth; stopped even strolling along the borders during some parts of the year.

For much of 2017 the garden no longer called to me in that special way it once did when it truly was my pleasure and salvation. This is not by any means my first wander away from tending the garden, but this year felt different. I simply did not have time to care for it and it became more obligation and burden than discovery and joy. For the first six months of the year my husband was recovering from 2 back-to-back back surgeries, undergoing extensive rehab and therapy, and gratefully he has done well. In the second half of this year my attention shifted further to yoga. After practicing since 2005, finally in June I completed training to become a yoga teacher, an endeavor I consider a personal milestone.

One encouraging influence of 2017 was attending the Garden Bloggers Fling. The attendees were friendly and delightful people; the gardens were inspirations. After starting the year with long days in hospital and rehab settings, I found such healing simply from being in these garden settings, their beauty touched my very core.

This year I managed to join In a Vase On Monday 49 times and that brought great satisfaction, both in creating an arrangement and in seeing what others had produced each week. For the most part I avoided participating in other thematic posts such as foliage day, bloom day or share-a-view day, which in other years I had loved writing. These can be quite fun and educational. Though there was never any obligation, I found myself stressing over them when I joined in and feeling guilty if I missed one; letting go of those commitments has freed me to enjoy those memes as a reader, appreciating the contributions, ideas and insights of my fellow bloggers.

In recent weeks I have sensed a subtle shift in attitude. Especially since the winter solstice I am aware of lengthening days. I have felt those tingling urges a gardener gets when imagining possibilities for next year’s garden. And so I find myself beginning to look forward to reconnecting with my little garden world in 2018 and to finding a manageable balance between that world and the rest of me.

32 thoughts on “2017 Garden Reflections And Seeking Balance

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Originally, the yoga teacher training was a way to deepen my own practice. Little did I know how much I would enjoy teaching yoga. Hope to find a way to return to the garden soon.

      1. FlowerAlley

        My daughter is leaving for college at age 25. She has epilepsy. I have been writing a book about our journey and blogging as seizuremama. It will be a new start for us both. I will still have my garden.

  1. automatic gardener

    It is nice to know that ours gardens will be there when we are ready for them. Mine has suffered for 2 years because of circumstances beyond my control (much like yours). I am already looking at seed catalogs. Gardening is a refuge for many of us. How about yoga in the garden?

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The garden was very giving last year despite my inattention. Time to repay it! Hope you’ll find plenty of time this year for gardening also. I do sometimes practice yoga in the garden. It’s also wonderful at the beach.

  2. Alice

    What lovely reflective thoughts. I think your deeper training in yoga is being reflected in your striving for balance given all life has brought you. Wishing all the best for you and David in 2018.

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Alice, so happy to hear from you. Hope 2018 is a wonderful year for you and your family. The yoga training was wonderful and as in so many things, once you dig deeper, you find you’re only scratching the surface. Always more to learn.

  3. Kris P

    It was a delight to connect with you on a personal (face-to-face!) level at the Fling, Susie. I hope you do indeed reconnect with your garden in 2018 and that it brings you both joy and peace. I also hope we have an opportunity to cross paths again in 2019, if not 2018.

  4. Beth @ PlantPostings

    Balance: It’s a good and necessary thing! My daughter is a yoga instructor, and she’s shared a few lessons with me. I like it! Congrats on completing your training! You’ve had a challenging year. I’ll look forward to reading about/seeing highlights from your garden this year! Happy New Year!

  5. Brian Skeys

    I took up yoga two years ago Susie, it is very therapeutic. I think it is to easy to create pressure with your blog by feeling you HAVE to regularly post something. The same with a garden it needs to be stress free, even an escape from stress. I am pleased your husband is on the mend, enjoy your garden, yoga and the New Year.


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