Try as I might, all I need is time.
As I look around Helen’s Haven, evaluating what she needs to shine for upcoming garden tours and photo shoots, I realize all she needs is time. Most gardens do. I don’t need to add a little something here or there. The design is set. Now all I need to do is wait it out. This is the hardest part.
Nothing I do will make the boxwood fill in as I imagine they will to offer repose between the formal and causal – the boundary demarking my garden between tameness and wildness.
Nothing I do will make the verbena hurry up and fill in the void at the mailbox.
Nothing I will do will leap the Rose of Sharon into adulthood.
By most standards, my garden is full, lush, and mature. It is I who sees the holes, flaws, and flubs. Helen’s Haven is not a garden for everyone. No doubt, when you visit for the first time, high maintenance comes to mind. With dismay, I can say, Helen’s Haven is not a high maintenance garden. Herein lays the problem. I like to putter in my garden and I run out of things to do, so I start tinkering. It is this tinkering that must stop. All my garden needs now is time.
Don’t be mistaken, there are many areas of improvement. Often times I wonder how I would have designed her if the children were not part of the equation or if I had unlimited funds. But this is my garden for here and now; for now and for 10 years from now. And at the end of the day, all she needs is time.
As the Raleigh regional representative for the Garden Conservancy Open Days tour for many years, I’ve selected gardens for tour. And before that, I did it for other local garden tours. I receive many calls from gardeners to consider their garden for tour. Often times, these gardens are newly installed. The excitement to share their gardens with others is contagious. Breathtaking designs and displays; most diffently, gardens worthy of the Garden Conservancy – in a year or two.
To the causal visitor, a brandy new garden may be beyond their expectations, yet, it is still best to wait to see the garden in her full glory. Only time can give this.
Knowing that a new garden is sitting on someone’s drawing board right now is comforting to me. Maybe right now, the merits over a Kousa versus Native Dogwood are being discussed; flagstone paths or stamped concrete? Brick or boulder walls? Curvilinear or linear lines? The choices are many and can be overwhelming.
Maybe the owner of the new garden is strolling her newly installed garden right now and while knowing her garden is but an infant, she sees her mature, filled in and ready to become a remarkable garden of the future. Only time will tell.
I will rest in the comfort that weeds defy time as do shrubs that need pruning, and grass that needs mowing. There is always something that needs to be done. But for now, I’m done trying to fix what only time can give.
Gardening With Confidence
P.S. The “Helen’s Haven” marker was gift from a my dear garden blogger buddy, Tina at
P.P.S. And of course, it never hurts to add more mulch!