|Do you see the flowers and colorful foliage |
or the mildew on the leaves of the bee balm?
The Daily DuBrule
The other day we were gardening at a local convalescent home where I have been helping with the gardens for almost thirty years. All of the residents, visitors and staff of this facility get to enjoy lush, colorful gardens, LOTS of them. We were on day two of trying to get the beds weeded, edged, mulched, and pruned. Although we do monthly maintenance, the intensity of the summer made the gardens get really weedy and overgrown- think "The Wisteria that Ate Branford". I was actually pretty upset at the state of the gardens and was furiously weeding and deadheading when someone walked up to me and said "The gardens are sooooo beautiful! I enjoy them every single day". Really? Are you kidding me? In my mind's eye they were a mess.
I get this all the time. People visit my gardens at home and are in awe. I am embarrassed by the crabgrass and the flopping plants I didn't stake and the dead Shasta daisy flowers I haven't cut off. They don't see ANY of that. They see the mimosa tree covered with pink puffy flowers and the giant sunflowers and every thing in bloom. They see the tomato plants dripping with fruit, not the spots on the leaves.
Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. As gardeners in August we have to be gentle with ourselves and realize that we garden for pleasure. If we judge what we do too critically, we lose the joy.