Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The last several days have been nothing short of depressing, with steady rain ALL DAY and all of the dreariness and gloom that comes with it. I really do not like the rain, but I do like the way it helps all of the world's most beautiful things to grow and grace us with their presence. My mood has been sour lately, in part because of the rain, and I have been struggling to fight away the doom and gloom. My allergies are flaring and I have a constant headache (you know the kind where all of the pressure sits right at the bridge of your nose?); my kids are going stir crazy being cooped up in the house all day, and we all know that means I am experiencing more hair-pulling moments than usual; and I really want to do some outside work and get my hands dirty.
You see, I have taken up gardening and landscaping in the last several years, and I really miss digging and weeding and planting. It relaxes me more than I ever thought it would. When I was younger I used to wonder how people could work in their gardens all day and plant and wear those ugly gloves and kneel on those silly gardening knee cushions. It seemed like such a dorky thing to do at the time. So I never envisioned myself actually enjoying it. Now it is my passion and I have joined the ranks of the dorky gardeners. I honestly think I could spend all of my days gardening. I kneel directly in the dirt because I cannot bring myself to use the knee cushions, and I have found that not all gardening gloves are ugly. I actually have a really cute pink pair, and I have seen some really great (and expensive!) patterned gloves. I have just been surprised at how gardening has taken a hold of me.
When we were building our house, I had no visions for future flower beds. But when Spring broke, I knew we would need some plants (and grass) because all that surrounded our home was dirt and lots and lots of rocks! So I went to Lowe's and purchased the first few plants for our home. When one of the plants almost died immediately after planting it, I dug out the mulch around it, gave it some TLC and water, and it made a comeback! I think that plant was the reason I got into gardening. Because I realized that I was capable of doing more than just killing plants.
And so it started. I found a nursery--a really nice nursery--and started buying more plants. It did not take long before I was a "frequent flyer" at the nursery. My beds have expanded and each time the weather breaks and Spring comes, I look forward to seeing the plants at their best. In their glory. In full bloom! Of course, I still find places to plant more and more to create new flowerbeds. I do not think I will ever get tired of planting and watching my plants grow.
So when the rain broke for a short time today, I jumped at the chance to get outdoors. The sun was not shining and it was not particularly warm, but it was not raining. Not a drop, nor a drizzle...nothing! It was so nice to get outside and breath the fresh air. And the kids were pretty happy, too! I wandered around the house looking at all of the plants in bloom, and realized that I have nothing to complain about or any reason to continue entertaining my bad mood. All of the beauty reminded me of everything I have to be thankful for. Almost every plant tells a story. The sedum were transplants from my (paternal) grandparent's house, dug out right before the house was sold after my grandparents were reunited in Heaven. The lilies came from there too. All of the azaleas were transplants from my parents, including one that came from my (maternal)grandmother's house. One of my mums was given to me at my baby shower when I was expecting Caroline. My burning bush started as a twig and came from my husband's late grandmother's home. And all of the lilac also started as sticks in the ground, taken from my in-laws' abundant lilac bushes. You see, my gardens are more than just plants to me. They have meaning, and in a way, I feel a part of my loved ones lost still live on.
If you have never gotten into gardening, try planting something this Spring. Even if just one plant. And something easy, like an azalea, sedum or a rhododendron. Take care of it and see how rewarding it is to watch it thrive and grow. You may find that you really enjoy it and want to add more plants. The best part is when next Spring rolls around, you will be greeted by new growth and blooms as a result of your two hands putting that plant in the ground. If nothing else, you will have positively contributed to the environment.
*Check out more of my blooms in my photo section along the right hand side of my blog page. I would love to see photos of your gardens!*