Gardening opens up avenues of introspection

I don’t have many regrets. I like to think I’m a “learn from your lessons” kind-of gal. Or “there’s a life-lesson in every failure.”

But as our family has been preparing our gardens for the American Hosta Society Convention Tours, I have learned a few lessons along the way. As we put the finishing touches on our yard for guests on Wednesday, I’ve had time to ruminate as I’ve swept the weeds under the outdoor carpet, so to speak.

No. 1: A marriage is blessed if you end up participating together in each others’ favorite hobbies. I have learned to like fishing (even in a freezing rain. Maybe endure is a more appropriate word choice?) The hubby has learned to like gardening.

He is my hardscape guy, dragging awesome boulders home to make unique water features and building the ideas that pop into my head, and finding trees “because we don’t have that genus.”

Even better, working together as a family has built unity, which is quite evident when my three daughters join forces and humorously grump about how I use to pay them a penny a weed — or dinner — whichever payment they chose.

No. 2: Work is never done, it’s just finished because there’s a deadline. But there must always be a time “to stick a fork in it,” otherwise the practice of contentment is never learned. At a snail’s pace I’ve learned to stick a fork in it or call it a night.

No. 3: If lavender doesn’t grow after planting it three consecutive years — for goodness sake, plant “Cat’s Meow” catmint instead and then plant the new and much-improved variety ‘Phenomenal’ Lavender nearby. Sometimes I’m a slow learner when I try to force my own agenda.

No. 4: Gardens truly are less about the plants and more about enjoying new and old friends in the midst of nature.

No. 5: Audrey Hepburn said, “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”

Hope and love — that’s what grew in the very first garden.