The Joys of Gardening

Of all the places I’ve lived, and the homes I’ve inhabited, this one, in Madison, CT, is the first one where I have actually established and worked the gardens. In my previous homes, I would have been considered a “checkbook gardener.” I hired others to do the work. We didn’t even own a lawn mower until now.
As a child, my father occasionally gave me the chore of weeding a flower bed. I hated it. Once, as I was weeding, I had the pleasure of receiving bird droppings on my back. That was the end of my gardening chores. Until recently.
With this house in Madison, we had the good fortune to be given a tabula rasa, so to speak, as there was no landscaping at all when we moved in.
After establishing a lawn, we had to tackle the broader picture. We knew when we were purchasing the house, that we would need to build a stone wall at the edge of one of our terraced levels. Otherwise, the land dropped off precariously. We lived in the house a year before we had the stonework done. The next area to design was the foundation plantings. I use the term “design” loosely.
I did lots of reading and research about plants and plantings, but partly due to my lack of experience, coupled with my determination to have everything done immediately, I made the all-too common mistake of just going to a nursery and purchasing whatever caught my fancy at the time. I gave little thought to planning, placement, and predators. Those three “p’s” were costly errors. But, that’s part of the joy of gardening. Learning by trial and error. Another is the joy of serendipity. By that I mean, that with all the planning one may do, to see what Mother Nature has in store is to experience the miracles of nature. Here a “volunteer,” there a plant creeping out of an unusual place.
The last joy I will describe here is the joy of watching the garden grow. Just like watching our children, we observe every day the plants growing, changing, and adding to the enhancement of our living space. I can now honestly say I love gardening and reaping what I have sown.