Reclaiming my garden, little by little

Reclaiming my garden, little by little

When winter first started thawing to spring, I felt a pit of dread in my stomach.


You see, I come from a long line of devoted, talented gardeners. My mom's garden? Gorgeous. My sweetheart's mom is a Master Gardener,and I know a lot of people who rave about how their gardens as an outlet for relaxation.


Despite some efforts to the contrary last summer, my yard devolved from what I hoped would be a charming outdoor space to a tangle of weeds. I'd spend a day out there every couple weeks, tearing out huge chunks of overgrowth, feeling guilty and overwhelmed.


It became a cycle. I'd make other plans to try to avoid my yard, or tell myself I was too tired after work to get anything done outside. My garden was anything but a joy.


Early this spring, my mom helped me weed one of my most overgrown beds, and reminded me that simply doing a little work outside each day makes everything more manageable. Gardening takes patience. Of course, she's right.


Except for the three weeks I spent scraping my kitchen floor this spring, I've tried to stick to my a-little-a-day prescription. I even weeded and watered this morning, before it got too hot. My mom has given me perennials to transplant. I credit recent rains with keeping them alive, and I'm looking forward to seeing them fill out.


I've been picking peonies and daisies for my desk at work and actually feeling pleasure at how things look.


My garden came with good bones – the afforementioned flowers, plus an enormous ramble of a rosebush in the far corner, now exploding with long-stemmed, delicate pink buds that pop open to surprisingly large blooms. I don't know its history, but I like to think it's been a part of my yard for a long time.


My garden is also sporting poppies and irises. Later this summer, I'll enjoy a patch of daylillies.


I have nothing to do with this particular profusion of beauty from my yard. I enjoyed the same flowers last year. But I'm hoping, from this season on, the rest of my yard will provide at least a decent-looking backdrop.


What about you – do you garden? How do you manage it? I'm not the only person who's felt guilty at the state of her yard, right?

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