Thursday, December 8, 2011

12 Days of Thankfulness: Day 8

Day 8: Garden.

I have a little garden and I'm thankful for it.

To call myself a gardener would be a bit of an overstatement, but I'd like to think I'm "growing" into one.

I've just finished putting my garden to bed for the winter. Something I've never done in the past. Something I never thought I had to do. I used to see people prepping their gardens in the wintertime, and thought they were just over zealous retirees with nothing better to do with their time. However, nine days in late August have caused me to have a change of heart.

Rewind to June 2007. We moved into our new home and inherited a huge garden with 3 large flowerbeds. I assumed that my husband would take on the garden project. I assumed wrong. My children were still small, and my house pretty big, so the garden was very low on my list of priorities.

For five years I made a very inconsistent and half hearted attempt at gardening. I didn't have the time, knowledge, inspiration or the energy. Apart from the occasionl front lawn maintenance,
I pretty much neglected it.

Fast forward to summer 2011. My neighbour Tracey put her house on the market, and to give it more "curb appeal" she asked her friends (a couple of retired ladies called "The Garden Fairies") to plant a front garden. They came, and with the help of her son who did the heavy labour, they created a stunning garden. It was an overnight miracle. I should've taken before and after pictures.
 Yes, it was that dramatic.

You can imagine how sad my garden looked by comparison.
Nothing more than a bed full of weeds.

 The creation of Tracey's garden gave me the push that I needed to do something with my own
I asked my husband if we could perhaps get The Garden Fairies to help.
"You are the garden fairy..."  he replied.


Armed with only a pair of pink garden gloves, I threw myself into my gardening  project. The physical work was much harder than I expected.  Weeding, rooting, digging up the clay soil, replacing it with  triple mix, repositioning, researching, planning, buying and then finally planting new perennials  and ornamental grasses. 9 days, 15 wheelbarrow trips, 12 bags of soil, several trips to the garden centre, a serious spider bite (which resulted in an overnight hospital stay and an EpiPen)
and 3lbs of weight loss later, I had a garden.
My garden.

The front flower bed.

When I first started,  I hated absolutely everything about gardening. But very slowly, once I started to see some progress and some of the fruits of my labour, I began to feel different. I was no longer alarmed by the little bugs and spiders who crept around beneath the soil. I enjoyed the bees and butterflies who visited my new flowers. I was soothed by the beautiful birdsong. I was at peace.  Although the work was hard and challenging and I was so tired, I found that my garden
was where I most wanted to be. The garden had grown
And so had I.

Flower bed behind the house.

As a child, I remember  my dad would sometimes go into his garden late in the evenings when it was almost dark. He used to say that most growth takes place when the garden is at rest.
 That makes perfect sense. Human bodies grow, repair and heal
while they are at rest too.

 And so I put my garden to bed. I wrapped the shrubs in burlap to give them some protection from the harsh temperatures and heavy snowfall. Pruned the grasses back. Deadheaded the last of the perennials. Turned over the soil and removed the last of the weeds.
And  then I left the garden shivering under
a soft white blanket of snow.

I whispered two words...

"...Keep growing".

And I wasn't just talking to the plants.

What's Playing:

In the Kitchen:
Rum Balls
(with 67% Jamaican Rum...I'll rest tonight for sure)

On the Music Player:
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen: Kellylee Evans
(from the Gospel Christmas Project)

In my Heart:
Matthew 11:28
"Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest".

And remember

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