I love wandering thru my gardens at the beginning of the day with its purposefully baked in good memories, scent and sights of the present, and anticipation of things to come. Whereas some gardens are happiest contained, by the end of the year, mine are obnoxiously spilling over everywhere, and it’s a full afternoon of digging and pruning to get them anywhere close to tamed. Say what you want to about good garden design, and the lack of it in some of my garden beds, if spending time in your garden isn’t enjoyable, or you are just finding an endless list of to dos, then gardening is to you as dishes are to me, better done by somebody else. If the approach you’re taking in your gardens is making you unhappy, then just scale it down and try finding a single plant in a single pot that brings a smile to your face.
Early last November my son, daughter and I spent an enjoyable day at The New Zoo. The Packers were playing the Vikings in Green Bay, which meant we had the zoo to ourselves, and although a third of the exhibits were closed, it was one of those rare days where everything just seemed right. No one bickered, and it was the kind of cool, crisp, glorious fall days that a fall lover like me would enjoy. We were taking a break from the exhibits and noticed the spent display of annuals in a nearby bed. Wanting to remember that day later, I slipped some dried seed pods from a bed of snapdragons, a flower I’ve always enjoyed but didn’t have, into a zip lock bag for safe keeping. I was so excited when they started sprouting and even happier when they started blooming. Now, as I prepare to gather seeds from this flower, I smile knowing that I’ll be able to relive that perfect fall day again next year.
When choosing things to add to your garden, I urge you to find some way of making it personal. I don’t think I’d get as much pleasure out of my gardening if it didn’t elicit some of the good times I’ve had, and of all the memories I could choose to remember, I’d rather remember the good ones. How do you use your garden to preserve happy times?