There are a lot of things I love to do.
Writing, reading, decorating, repurposing, crocheting, quilting, working on the dollhouse, listening to music, watching old movies.
I love my work.
Do I have to even mention that I love my husband and dogs with all my heart? Of course not. (And we’ll just make it a given that being with them is the best thing in the world.)
Having said all that, the thing that gives me the most satisfaction, the most joy is working in my garden.
I can lose all sense of time there.
I love digging in the dirt. Watching something grow – from a seed or a cutting or a baby plant – is amazing. Seeing all the effort pay off as plants leaf out and blossom and become a garden is simply glorious.
As a girl who lived in rentals most of her life – most of them apartments where there was no place for a garden – I sometimes can’t believe that these gardens here at Mockingbird Hill Cottage are mine. Mine to create and carve out and try and fail and succeed in. I still feel like a kid half the time, so how can I possibly be a homeowner who gardens?
My parents always had a vegetable garden in our back yard. There were some roses along the fence line between our property and our neighbor’s. And there were bushes in front of the house. That’s it. My mom didn’t plant flowers when I was growing up. She did later, when my parents moved to northern Michigan, but I certainly didn’t watch my parents growing and tending to a flower garden in my impressionable years.
Grandma had flowers in her yard. But they were in neat little plots here and there. Very precise and tidy. I can’t remember even caring about those flowers. They were just there. It wasn’t my thing as a kid. Or even a twenty-something.
I always had house plants, no matter where I lived. But it wasn’t until I lived in California that I was well and truly hit with the gardening bug and not until Don and I shared our little rental, a Craftsman cottage, that I started my first garden. It was right outside our back door. I spent hours there.
When we moved east and found another rental cottage, I started a garden there. It was so lovely. I even spent hours planting a ground cover at the barren base of the pine tree that stood right outside our front door. There was no outlet for a hose, so I attached one to the bathroom sink and fed it out the window, where it snaked its way on to the garden. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
And now we’re here. And I think, how did I go for 30 plus years before I realized the joy of gardening? Well, the answer is that I wasn’t ready yet. I wasn’t living in places where I could tentatively begin to stretch my gardening muscles. I was busy going to school, acting, starting my teaching career. I lived in third and fourth floor apartments where gardening was an impossibility so I didn’t even think about it. I admired gardens but didn’t give them much notice. It wasn’t the right time.
Now it is. And I love every minute of it. I feel that, in some ways, I come alive when spring arrives. I am, just like the trees and the grass and the flowers, rejuvenated. Reborn.
Gardening is a little slice of heaven. I’m so grateful.
Happy Tuesday and Happy Birthday to my wonderful sister, Meredith. Love you.