Saturday, May 28, 2011

When Phlox Takes Over

I woke this morning determined to spend some time in the yard, hopeful that rain would not spoil my plans. After a breakfast of whole wheat crepes filled with fresh blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, I donned some comfy clothes and ran to the store to pick up a few items including some Alyssum and some grass and begonias for my porch planters.

I quickly packed away the groceries, enjoyed a lunch of lemon Stilton and blueberry Stilton wedges, and dove into my flowerbed. I tied back my bleeding heart, training it upward rather than outward, and then started removing plants that had started to define their own space. I trimmed back the hostas, removed several ostrich fern stray children, and divided the blue, pink, and white Phlox in half. Phlox is one of those beautiful plants that delves deep into the soil. It says, "What's this, space? For me? Don't mind if I do!" You know their kind.

A plant-loving friend obliged me by taking on my castaway ferns, Phlox, and a few other items. She is one of those free-spirit gardeners who loves to just let things grow how they will. As I trimmed back the Irish moss and split and moved half of dwarf king's heart to another part of the bed, I thought about my carefully manicured garden and recalled a day when overgrowth to me was perfection.

Why control growth? As I Bonsai-shaped my lace Japanese maple tree, I thought about the yard of my childhood filled with wild grasses and unmaintained trees. I thought it was the most beautiful place on earth. I now believe there is a place for both philosophies. I must confess that Japanese gardens are most glorious and beautiful to me, because things are placed with such attentive detail that they grow into something that magnifies its natural beauty beyond anything it could achieve on its own. While we all need some freedom to become what we want to, we cannot truly achieve our full potential unless we are guided, pruned, and nourished in certain areas of our lives.

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