There is a budding excitement in the air here in Ontario during the month of May. May usually means the end of Winter; the snow is gone and the ground is quickly thawing and slowly the residents begin to clear up the debris of the Winter season. Last weekend was Mother’s Day and we spent the day in our backyard, clearing up the gardens and opening the pool.
Unfortunately the Winter cover for our inground pool didn’t do it’s job this year and we ended up with all of the debris and gunk getting into the pool. The sides of the tarp cover had let go over the season, leaving us with this beautiful C-ment pond whose fragrance left me a bit light-headed.
Being the hearty workers we are, we didn’t lose hope or become frustrated. We have had to face far worse in our years of gardening/renos. Hubby ran out to the pool store to grab clarifiers, salt (it’s a salt-water pool) while I began scooping out piles of leaves from the bottom. Thankfully he quickly returned and took over so I could get back to my gardens.
After 2 days of hard work my husband proudly announced that the pool was levelled and all good to swim in! The girls were ecstatic until they dipped a toe into the 60 degree water….gasps and little-girl-make-your-ears-bleed screaming could be heard for miles I think. They spend hours negotiating with their wee friends until finally they all got in as far as their waist and proudly bragged how they’d braved the frigid temperatures.
Gardening is Therapy
Spending time in my gardens is so calming to me, I love getting my hands into the soil to create a space and the end result always brings me happiness but really the process is what affects me the most. Gardens tame me. When I’m in the garden, I simply must go slowly and that is something my brain needs. Slowing down, picking weeds by hand or turning soil takes me away to a place where my soul simply sighs with pleasure.
Looking upon my little walkway oasis section of the garden could have had me feeling overwhelmed but in actuality I saw it as a chance to relax. There in the dried out leaves, the perennials which needed pruning I saw a chance to reconnect with the earth and have a long chat with God.
That Saturday afternoon I sat on my gardening stool that afternoon immersed in the act of reviving a place I value so much. This is a space which I planned and made from scratch, the first real landscaping I’d done alone years ago. Each year I have added to it until it’s become one of my favourite spaces in the world where I often can be found prayer-walking in gratitude.
This is a photo of my garden which I took last July when it was in full glory, you can see there are weeds to pull and it’s a bit messy but that’s exactly how I like it. In it’s imperfections I see the reality of life, just another reason to love the basic teachings of gardening which I can apply to life at every turn.
Last year we had a disaster in our gardens, a weed called Creeping Charlie had taken over a quarter of our yard and taken everything out in the area. I wrote to you all about it in an article titled This Recovering Alcoholic Has Work To Do. This may seem a strange title for an article about removing Creeping Charlie but if you read it you’ll see how I recognized that both in the garden and in our lives we must keep an eye out for anything which is steeping under the surface.
We had the opportunity to actually see a lesson in the works. With a few weeks of slow, hard work we went from this weed-eaten garden
With some vigilance and effort, our gardens will thrive again this year. It’s just like life, when you experience the journey with the right perspective and the willingness to get your hands dirty there is joy to be found everywhere.
I look forward to bringing you more garden tales this season, believe me we have a huge list of DIY projects and other battles to face (can you say grubs?). Meanwhile I’ll putter away at the rest of the backyard, sweeping, pulling weeds, watering and loving my garden back to full bloom.