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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Surrender to a New Adventure

I call myself a gardener, or at least an aspiring gardener.  As with all things, success is sometimes elusive and some years are better than others when it comes to how my garden grows.  To be honest, it's not so much the results of my efforts that feed me as the efforts themselves.  I learned, as a child watching my grandmother digging enthusiastically in her garden, that the turning of the soil and the hopeful planting are as therapeutic and pleasurable as blossoms and fruit.

This year I made a painful decision, although not as painful as the alternative.  I've always loved hauling home flats of fledgling annuals and filling the space I've claimed over the years with as many blooms as I could squeeze in.  Riots of color, layers of texture and rows of trailing blooms to rival the best English gardens were my stock-in-trade.  But no more.  As much as I hate to admit it, my body refuses to go there any more.  My back and knees remind me daily that all that bending and stooping will not be tolerated. This year it's time to bite the bullet and take the next step into my gardens of the future--perennials.

Now don't get me wrong.  Perennials have always fascinated me.  But they're expensive, and I'll be limited this year to a few choice varieties and a lot of mulch.  The shopping has been an education, and I'll won't know if I've chosen correctly until I see the results next spring.  In the meantime, I'll have to adjust to my flowerbed looking sparse and sculptural, as opposed to the overgrown abundance I've always loved. 

I've had wonderful help with this project from my own granddaughter, who seems to have a real interest, which I hope will last her a lifetime, as mine has.  Even though I couldn't get as down and dirty as I'd like to, I've enjoyed the work and the new venture.  While I miss my petunias and marigolds, I love the delicacy of coreopsis and the attitude of coneflower, too.  My husband is thrilled with the garnet and gold of blanket flower, nature's version of his beloved FSU colors. 

I think we'll all watch expectantly for the success or even the failure of this year's garden as we haven't done in the past. Starting something new, as I've learned only too well from my writing, involves letting go of something old, daring to fail and learning from our mistakes.  No matter the outcome, the lessons are worth the effort. 

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