Saturday, July 27, 2013

One day only

Today, for one day only, I have a perfect garden.

Today my week-long weeding and cleaning blitz came to a close. Today my big, strong, hockey-player student spread four cubic yards of bark mulch in the perennial garden while I followed along behind him tickling the mulch onto all the nooks and crannies.

Today there is not a weed to be seen. The edges are tidy and the paths are swept clean.

Today my student's mom, when she came to pick him up at the end of his shift, called my garden a Martha Stewart Garden.

Tomorrow there will be weeds. Tomorrow there will be more dried-up columbines ready to be cut back. Tomorrow I will wake up and find some disorder where today there is order. But today, for one day, everything is perfect.

And you know what? I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

To my surprise, I find the neatness and order of today's garden just a little unsatisfying. "Hallelujah!" Mother Nature and her angels are shouting, after five years of trying to cure me of my perfectionism. Well, I may be a slow learner, but I think I've finally got this lesson down. Finally I realize there's something to be said for the unpredictability of Mother Nature's version of a garden, for the unexpected odd bits that pop up to surprise you, for the asymmetry and wonkiness and messy bits. My orderly everything-matches-because-it's-just-been-mulched garden is a little . . . well, boring.

So this evening, for one evening only, I'll sit on the verandah and look out on perfection. And tomorrow I'll embrace a less tidy, more real garden, all the more beautiful for its imperfection.


jeanives said...

Without that moment you wouldn't enjoy the ensuing chaos nearly as much. Congrats on your evolution.

Stephanie said...

It is like housework, it never ends. Enjoy the one day of tidiness.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Cheers for this moment!
And a hearty hip-hip-hooray for Nature's path!

Alison said...

I also had a perfect garden for a day or so--I finally finished weeding the veg bed. I never thought I could use "finish" and "weeding" in the same sentence, but at one point I stood up, looked around and said, "I'm done!"

Gardening is our way of trying to organize Nature, and Nature's way of trying to teach us how impossible that is (unless you're English, perhaps).

Shim Farm said...

This year, I've about given up with weeding. Today I cut down some huge burdock plants. Optimistically, I started with a dandelion poker. Realistically, I ended up using long-handled loppers to cut the stems, they were so huge.

I hope you enjoyed "that one day".

Just getting the lawn cut in one fell swoop before it rains has proven hard. Alas, today was "that one day" for us. Hopefully, we'll have a few more.

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