Monday, September 1, 2008

A Fresh Start

Although the calendar doesn’t reflect it, Labor Day is traditionally regarded as the official end of summer and beginning of fall. For me it is the day that I stop deadheading, allowing the plants to set seed instead. Seed that will either be sown by Mother Nature or collected by me to be wintersown, direct-sown, traded or donated.

There is not much to not-deadhead this year. I have done very little gardening. The company I work for has announced plans to move. I’ve been waiting for that news, specifically the new location, for years. When the real estate market picks up and I can more easily find a buyer for my house, I will be moving also.

Most people are appalled when I tell them that I am moving. They can’t understand how I can just leave my gardens behind. I won’t be leaving them entirely behind, of course. I will bring some of the plants with me. That’s something else I’ve been thinking about. Which ones will come with me? Which ones are so meaningful that I can’t bear to leave them behind?

Leaving my gardens is not that difficult. My family moved around a lot when I was growing up. At each new house, my mother planted new flower gardens. I never heard her express any regret about the gardens she had left behind. It seems normal to me to move to a new house and plant a new garden.

Instead of gardening this summer, I’ve been thinking about gardening. Thinking about all the lessons I’ve learned about gardening and heirlooms and natives and beneficials and soil. Thinking about how I will apply those lessons in a new garden.

A new garden! A fresh start. Until I have actually moved in and have an idea of the amount of sun and shade, the quality of the soil and the existing landscape, I can only think in generalities. What do I want to do differently? What do I want to do the same? How do I create a more wildlife friendly environment? How can I incorporate more natives? More herbs? Perhaps some veggies?

As I make my daily rounds of the garden, I'm thinking not just of what is, but also what was and what will be.

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