Sunday, March 14, 2010

Shaping our gardens...shaping our lives.

I took a walk around my gardens this morning...fully believing I was going to put in a tremendous day of gardening. I have to was just too cold for me still. I know, I know...we live in a zone 7 (or 8 depending on who you believe) but still...I was so bundled up I would have had a difficult time bending down to do any work. So instead I did what any good gardener does...I made a list for future projects.
On that list is shearing the different hedges in my gardens. I have several so this is not a quick project. There is the two foot walkway hedge in the Japanese garden out back. The huge semi circle hedge that is the focal point for one of my outdoor living rooms. The are several shrubs that are more easily pruned with a hedger. There is the 'hobbit house' hedge that sets under my ginormous holly tree. The hedge of variegated ligustrum and spirea out front. A new hedge of something evergreen that blooms...yep..I forgot it's name. The hedge surrounding the formal rose garden and last but in no way least...the garden maze where my outdoor sleeping room is set squarely in the middle.

So, you can see these hedging projects are intense to say the least. Which brings me to this...A man called Pearl. Ever heard of him? If not I would suggest going on line and googeling him. I won't go into his story here but needless to say I am so impressed with him and what he accomplished and still does to this day. He said at a meeting I heard him speak at in in January that he clips his hedges every 4-6 weeks, What? OMG...I am totally frustrated now. I was lucky to do trimmings twice a year! He also thought if you have to rake up after you trim that you are not pruning enough. That the job should be done so often there is not enough to clean up. Whoa...

So what do I do now? I really can not see myself even having the time to accomplish that feat much less the desire. I mean would become like mowing...which I hate doing, thus the shrinking of my lawns each year until now I have little more than pathways of grass. But if you saw his gardens...the exquisite way he has worked with nature...I know in my heart he is doing something right. That he understands something about trimming hedges I do not. There is no control without understanding. Frances Bacon said that "nature, to be controlled, must be understood". Pearl gets this with an uncanny understanding that came from passion, not education, and by just doing what his heart told him to do. And as I think one can't, nor should not, ever stop learning, who am I to disagree with obvious success?

So I am going to give it a try. I am going to allow myself once every two months though instead of every 4-6 weeks. I tend to think that planning is everything so as I am listing my year for the garden today and I am going to make a bi-monthly time to try this out. For some reason I can justify every 8 weeks but not every 4 to 6 weeks! As Judy said a few weeks ago in her blog on shoveling snow...I will think of it more as a zen moment for myself and my gardens. Who knows what dreams may come from this? Perhaps my hedges will look the best they ever have. Perhaps I will discover some part of me that needs "trimming" as well...makeing me not just a better gardener but a better human too? That's the beauty of gardening in't it?. Besides all of the very tangible things that come from it, one also can receive so many esoteric things that can assist with living a better life...and who wouldn't desire that?

I hope this year that all of your garden adventures do as many good things for you as mine do for me...

Happy Gardening,

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