Tag Archives: reflections

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.

Garden Regeneration

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue) forms part of the Meditation Circle wall

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) forms part of the Meditation Circle wall May 25, 2014

Four years ago yesterday I posted my first entry on pbmGarden entitled, “Garden Regeneration.”  The first paragraph written then works just as well today.

The garden has been neglected the last few years. Too many frustrations: deer, noisy surroundings, drought, and life’s distractions. Time again to focus on what is important and to create a peaceful setting. (January 7, 2011)

Four years later the garden has been mildly neglected for a few months, but not years. Voles are my current nemesis and instead of drought the rains have been frequent. Though details of that first post are fluid and can easily be swapped one for another, the original intention is still clear to me: Time again to focus on what is important and to create a peaceful setting.

Japanese Iris and Iris germanica (Bearded iris) May 8, 2013

Japanese Iris and Iris germanica (Bearded iris) May 8, 2013

Though I long for it, I no longer think the garden will just one day finally become perfect and stay that way. Even when the irises bloom and the garden is at its best, I know it represents only one point in the nature’s cycle and change is already taking place. But I am reassured the ebb and flow of the days and nights through the seasons will produce more opportunities for me to seize.

Some goals set in January 2011, although met, continue to challenge. The labyrinth is one achievement that brings immense satisfaction.

pbmgarden Labyrinth Design

pbmgarden Labyrinth Design March 2011

Meditation Circle

Meditation Circle Under Construction April 8, 2011

Garden View with Meditation Circle May 6, 2011

Garden View with Meditation Circle May 6, 2011

Garden View With Meditation Circle May 10, 2014

Garden View With Meditation Circle May 10, 2014

While documenting days in pbmGarden over the last four years, what I have known but need to continually relearn is this task of focussing and creating is a process, a long, sometimes arduous journey of personal change and development. The garden is a refuge as I work out this path. My goal of garden regeneration has really become gardener regeneration.

Meanwhile what I had not expected when starting pbmGarden on WordPress was finding such kind and knowledgeable blogging friends who brighten my days with encouragement, advice and humor. For five years prior I had diligently recorded garden observations at another site, without the benefit of knowing those of you who now stop by regularly or peek in occasionally. Once in a while I think my garden would profit from me spending less time blogging and more time gardening, but in reality the support I receive from you actually helps keeps me going.

As I say happy birthday to my little garden blog, I also wish to send a heartfelt thank you for visiting here.