The Un(in)tended Garden


Ahh, my garden full of daisies… When I moved in I had such high hopes for it.

It started out quite well – a whole big flowerbed bursting with them, blooming fuller than I ever could have hoped for. But about a year in, there was this one patch that was struggling… Thinning out. A little brown around the edges. Not nearly so many blooms as before. But I had high hopes – I could bring it back! All it would take was a little more TLC to revive it to its previous glory, I was sure of it. I could do this.

But no matter how much attention I paid, no matter how I fed and watered and nurtured it, that patch of the garden just seemed to keep getting worse. Was it the soil? The fertilizer? Maybe I was over-watering? < sigh > So much energy devoted to one little patch of plants…

So finally, after about a year of worrying incessantly over that section of the garden and still watching it steadily decline, I got fed up. I yanked it out. And of course immediately regretted it. What had I done? Any potential there was for that poor plant was just thwarted by my own hand. I had killed the very thing I was trying so hard to bring back. I was a daisy murderer.

But you know what? Maybe it was for the best. I don’t think that damn bunch of daisies was probably ever going to grow in the way I wanted it to. All that extra effort I had been pouring into it all this time did nothing but prolong the inevitable and cause me to neglect the rest of the garden, letting everything else get all leggy and overgrown. I had gotten so focused on the damned dying daisies that I distracted from the ones that were still doing great. I let everything else slide to focus on one bit of it that apparently wasn’t so happy to grow there.

So fine. Don’t grow if you don’t want to. I’m done trying to help you along. And it’s about time I got back to tending the rest of that garden.

So now what to do with that one ornery patch? I guess I’ll wait until the spring to make my final decision. Now that I’ve pulled out the stems the fate of that plant is pretty much out of my hands anyway. Nature has a habit of doing things its own way on its own time, and perhaps that patch will surprise me. Maybe now that there’s no top growth, the roots will regroup underground and spring forth anew with the first warm breezes, blooming better than ever. Maybe it just needed time to get its collective root-shit together. Maybe I’m dreaming.

If (IF…) it decides to come back in the spring, I suppose I’ll have to decide if I really even want it there. For all the time I invested in it, is that really the flower that I want? Should I plant something else that would suit me better? Something that will grow there happily with less maintenance? Or perhaps I should just get one of those decorative resin Buddha statues to plunk down in that spot for now – it’ll be one less section for me to worry about until I get the rest back in shape.

But damn… I did have such high hopes.

For the time being that garden’s on its own – until the spring thaw there’s not much I can do with it anyway, and there’s plenty of inside stuff to be done. Time to focus my energies inward – the living room is in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint.


Colleen Clifford

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