One of the things that drew me to gardening was the freedom to create. I am not a skilled artist, nor am I good at looking at an interior space and envisioning the perfect paint color, or furniture choices. For the first half of my life, I was never satisfied with the results of any creative project, until I discovered gardening.
Gardening is not about the pursuit of perfection, it is about learning to appreciate the life cycle of the plants we choose for our garden spaces. The mysterious thing that happens when you plant a seed has very little to do with gardening skill. This can be an epiphany to those of us who have to work hard at other things in life.
Plants allow you to make mistakes. If I plant a camellia and I see that it is in too much sun, I can move it. If I’ve planted a small bed of flowers and it doesn’t look right, I can rearrange it. If I decide that I don’t like yellow-flowered perennials anymore, I can give them to a fellow gardener, and plant something different.
Plants are happy to participate in our crazy schemes. Want purple allium flower balls floating over your vegetable bed? Done. Want to grow a tropical looking gloriosa lily vine through your boring evergreen shrubs? Why not?
Plants don’t criticize. If you love purple, orange, and fuchsia pink, you can create a gloriously gaudy flower bed for summer. Plant a front border with tall zinnias and jalapeno peppers, just because you can.
Gardening will take you right back to the day when, as a young child, someone handed you a box of crayons and a piece of paper. It’s a good place to be.