Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Tale of Two Gardens

As I sat on my back patio yesterday I thought about how interesting and how well gardens and lawns reflect the personality of their keepers. Recently, my mother-in-law moved in with us. It has been in the works for over a year for many reasons. For one, we actually love one another and get along well. For another, Arlene says she wanted to die somewhere that someone would find her before her cats ate her fingers and toes. Yes. Yes, we do share the same odd and somewhat morbid sense of humor! In many ways, we are very much alike. But in the ways we differ, we really really differ!
One of the ways we have chosen to cope with our differences is that Arlene takes care of the flower gardens in the front of the house while I take care of the back.
Arlene's garden is very organized, very symmetrical and and just so. Flowers where specially chosen either to go with those already there or for the area. Plants are planted in the ground or actual flower pots. Everything is planned and coordinated. Whimsy is added in the form of garden statues and iron planters and bird houses. And it's done. My garden, not so much.
In fact, while Arlene has been planting for weeks, I have just started in earnest. I could lie and say I have been planning while she has been planting. But no, that is not what happened at all. My garden is a work in progress. Vague ideas that I work on when inspiration strikes. It is wild and free and colorful and unconventional. Think flowers hanging from trees. Current um...planting vessels include two cast off stock pots, a five gallon bucket and a hole left from a recently removed bush. Seeds scattered with the precision only a hyper 6 year old can provide (Seriously, my 6 year old grandson helped!) And I have about 3 flats of flowers left to plant with nary a planter in sight. yeah.
knowing her as I do, I know she is quietly stewing and wondering when I am going to plant those darn flowers. At this point , she is probably close to a full on panic attack. I know this because, sadly, I frequently have this effect on her.
But I can't stop being me any more than she can stop being her. Instead, I admire and celebrate all the skills she has and the way those skills enhance my life and appreciate the beauty she creates.

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