I surprised myself this spring, when I opted not to aim for perfection in my garden. Don’t get me wrong, I have been weeding since April and the garden is full of potential. But I chose not to spend copious amounts of money on plants and materials to make it instantly beautiful. Forget the bark mulch, in favor of a thick layer of compost to feed the plants throughout the growing season. Instead of piling up empty plastic pots, the result of a planting spree, I chose to sow seeds directly into the soil. It’s the old fashioned way, and will take a few extra weeks to grow and bloom, but I am more invested in their success.
Once the garden is planted, I am usually on the lookout for the extra stuff that will give my garden personality. With the money I saved on plants, I could justify that Monet style wrought iron arbor I’ve been drooling over in the Kinsman catalog. Instead, I bought several balls of twine and bamboo poles. At $3 per roll for garden twine and $2 per pole for bamboo, I spent $30 and made three sturdy trellises: one to contain the Sweet Autumn clematis that spreads over the front fence and blooms like a snow drift in September, another for the out of control William Baffin rose, and a third for climbing Italian Purple Pole beans. Best of all, the twine is compostable and the poles are easy to store in the back of the garden shed come winter, because next year, I may try something new.
I’ve noticed I have a more meditative way of moving into the garden season this year. Maybe it’s because my garden is not on a garden tour this summer, which allows me to grow it just for myself. I can grow my garden exactly the way want, which allows me to make a conscious choice to be more relaxed and engage at a slower pace. I’ll still get the job done, and the weeding will never stop. But I am happy to report that perfect is not the goal for this garden season and I like it that way. And I think the plants do, too.