At Garden Time TV, you might often hear us say how easy gardening is in some aspect or another. Having a far too open mind and being way too honest, I sometimes cringe when we say that.
Bottom line is...sometimes gardening is, plain and simply put, HARD WORK!
I would never want to scare someone off from the delight of spending time in their gardens or starting a new one up but I would be remiss if I didn't say that sometimes you just have to roll up your sleeves and get down and dirty.
I just came in from working in my yard. Now remember, I worked at store, Portland Nursery on Divison St., from 7:00 am until 4:45 pm, so I had already put in a good days work. I had decided this year in an attempt to save some money to try to do my yard alone. Whoa...what was I thinking? I tackled a Choyisa Ternata that was 9-10 foot tall and a Viburnum Davidi that was just totally out of control. They whupped me...and good! But, after a couple of hours and some language I won't repeat here, they are pristinely pruned.
What I am not able to explain to people is this. Even though the work is very hard (I really was rolling around on the ground, covered in dirt and thinking things that made ME blush I was so frustrated) when it was all said and done...perfection!
Seeing my yard to the level I demand it to be is a reward I am not sure many people can even understand. It fills me with pride and excitement and a sense of communion with nature that is almost spiritual.
After I was done, while showering and trying to remove dirt where dirt should never be on a human, it dawned on me that this extra hard work was actually my own fault. You see, gardens need constant attention. I have found that only when I delay or ignore a part of my yard does it demand increased care and maintenance. Both of these plants tend to root in very easily when a branch lays on the ground. And as I had not pruned them well in several years it cost me an extra amount of effort to get them back to where they needed to be. In truth, gardening is usually difficult only when we allow things to get out of control. Consistency and maintenance are key.
Always an optimist me, I can tell you that the blooming Daphne Oderata fragrance would waft thru the air and right when I thought I was going to implode with frustration while pruning, that indescribable smell would invade my olfactory and honestly would calm me like a drug.
So I guess my moral to the story is IF you don't keep up with your yearly pruning and IF your a perfectionist as I am, and IF you find that you have to tackle something in the yard you really don't want to...make sure you do it when the Daphnes are blooming!
And always remember that the best things in life may be free but the cost of a exquisit garden is...ocasionally...some hard work!