Embracing the chaos

I am not an organized person and while I envy this quality in others, it will never be mine.  That’s not to say I am not efficient and responsible: my desk may be a mess at work and at home – but I never miss a deadline and my bills get paid on time.  This is just my style.  And it translates to everything – including the garden.

This morning, dressed in sweatpants and tee-shirt retrieved from the floor, hair flattened on one side and eyes still bleary with sleep, I took the dog out for his quick, morning walk.  I live on a quiet street and rarely meet anyone at this hour. Bordering our not-quite quarter acre,  Hosta, Iris, Day Lilies are growing in abundance.  Looking at this mass of green through my sleepy haze, I recall my autumn vow to separate these plants in the spring: divide the Day Lilies and Hosta plants, give away the Bearded Irises (strange, almost vulgar looking, I think) before they reached full bloom and I could still see space between them.  Too late: they swallow each other up in a green mass and they in turn, are overwhelmed by the hedge that stands now like a wall between our house and the street.  I used to be able to trim this hedge standing in the street – now it is at least 8 feet high and dense.

In another corner of the garden are the once scrawny twigs sent to me by the Arbor Society for a $10 donation.  I did this at least two years in a row – dutifully planting painted twigs only inches long into a corner of the garden where they would not get trampled.  Now we have about 7 trees in the works. They are growing within feet or even inches each other.  I meant to move a few of them this spring while it was still early – before their leaves began to sprout.  We moved two last year – digging around the roots and then wider, deeper yet to get some kind of root ball.  Finally, cursing and bothered, we chopped at the dangling roots and yanked them out – moving them, (not very hopefully) to a spot where they have more room to grow.  Amazingly, they survived the trauma and are still alive and  have grown quite a few feet.  We vowed to get to the others before they got bigger. Too late again.  None of those little trees I stuck in the flower garden for safe keeping and then, forgot about, will leave without a fight. For another year at least, there they will stay.

To add to the garden chaos, I planted two cherry trees in the hope of one day eating fruit from them.  Slightly bigger sticks that probably won’t bear fruit for a decade because I’m too frugal to spring for the $60 it costs to buy a large one from the garden center.  All of these saplings live beneath the massive oak that’s not far from the mulberry tree, so tall the branches lean over the garage. Another oak stands at the end of the drive and a quartet of trunks make up the maple tree shading most of the front lawn.

At this point, we feel overwhelmed by the growth, the weeds reclaiming a patch we cleared two weeks ago, the neighbors annoying forsythia that hangs like a curtain about to come down over our blueberry bushes.  But it’s nature doing its thing and it’s gorgeous and lush and the birds love us.

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