It has been almost two weeks since Mastering Horticulture was updated. There was a severe lack time on my part; gardening was pushed in the back burner. My daughter graduated from high school and we had relatives and friends who came share our joys. It was a reunion of many relatives. As everyone would know, before any serious celebration can happen preparation has to be done. Most of my time was spent in making sure that the there was enough food for several days, towels and bed sheets were washed, the chandeliers were dusted (I missed some cobwebs) and the baseboards were cleaned.
Regrets. The garden was not spruced up. And it happened that our guests came and some of them stayed for a couple of days. As usual, people came into the house, walked towards the kitchen and out into the patio without even stopping by the living room. People seem to be attracted to the backyard. There must be something there that pulls them out from the house. I cringe as I watch them, from inside the house setting the table, see all the weedy parts of the yard, the yellowish unfertilized tomatoes, the roses that needed dead-heading and the annual plants that I was planning to plant. I regretted that I did not have the chance to make the garden look spiffy. :(
Thoughts. So I thought... What are gardens anyway? A garden is like a canvass where one plays the role of an artist or creator. A design is made either on a piece of paper or in the mind. We translate our desire things grow and position them accordingly. We even manipulate the way they behave and control the resources that they get. Sometimes we are generous to some plants and hold back on some. We protect the plants from harm as much as we can and pluck out the caterpillars that threaten them. Unlike a still art, a garden involves life - and life involves change. A true garden is a work in progress. It is a relationship between the three key players: the gardener, the plants, and the environment. Unless it is made of plastic and silk plants, a garden is never finished. It continues to progress and progress require maintenance.
Conclusion. The garden looks the way it looks because of the interaction of the three key players. For example, the roses (plants) bloomed and I (gardener) was supposed to have deadheaded them but it rained (environment) when I had scheduled to do it. My regret was borne by my twisted idea about a garden and my role as a gardener. I imagine that a garden should always be picture-perfect like those in magazines. However, those are highly choreographed and I do not have the time to do that. I was too busy with real life - celebrating my daughter's graduation...
Regardless of my own regrets, the family has a great time!
I thank all the relatives and friends who came to celebrate with us. My daughter will be continuing her education at UC Irvine... Now I am back in circulation!