Tip #544: Unexpected Joy

“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” Maya Angelou

I did not embrace the changes I needed to make in my yard.

I was not happy when I had to remove four large trees: a willow, an elm, a pine and a plum tree.However, suddenly, there were many large open sunny areas where there once had been shade.

I could finally plant sun-loving perennials to my heart’s desire. Instead of two large, weedy and overgrown gardens, there are now seven mulched gardens of varying sizes filled with a profusion of multi-colored perennials.

I was upset when the jungle of hasta, hydrangea, Virginia creeper, and lilies of the valley on the side of the house was devastated when the tree limbs were dropped and dragged away. However, this offered me an unexpected opportunity to lay a pathway with flowers planted between the paving stones. This pathway will provide a pleasant access to what will hopefully return as a more sedate and orderly planting.

At last, I could also restore the plantings that I had loved when I originally moved into my home. Only one of the ancient lilacs remained, but now there was sufficient space and sunlight to plant new lilacs to reproduce the fragrant colorful hedge I had missed for so long.

Emboldened by these landscaping successes, I was finally brave enough to pull out the barberry bushes in the front of the house. For years, their prickers had stung me every single time I tried to trim them or weed below them, even when I wore thick gardening gloves. I replaced my prickly nemeses with benign leafy bushes that will flower in the spring and have berries in the fall.

The weeds that thrived under the barberry have also been banished, since I planted a lemon thyme border there instead. The added bonus is that they now provide a fragrant entrance to my home.

An attempt to plant tiny grape hyacinths near some paving stones led to a wonderful discovery. Under the dirt, I found four paving stones that had sunk over the years and been covered with weeds. It was not difficult to raise them so they could return to perform their intended function.

A delightful consequence of losing my plum tree was the need to seek another tree’s branch from which to hang my metal sculpture of a dancing woman. No longer hidden, she now frolics from a much higher maple branch so that I can see and enjoy her from every window.

The landscape of my home has been transformed. It is now colorful, sunny and welcoming. I did not embrace the changes I needed to make, but from those losses I have gained beautiful new gardens that bring me great joy.

May your learning be sweet.


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