We can all agree that a house is a home, but what is a garden? I always thought it was. Does it have an overabundance of grass, bushes, trees, vines, flowers, and other plants like we always say that a carpet should have?No, a garden is not a bed of plants attending to each other, although trees and plants are indeed growing in a garden. A garden is rather like a room in your house, with certain elements positioned, and others arranged.
When you first contemplate having a garden or a landscaped yard, what do you picture?Do you see a vast field of plants? Or an expanse of lawn with no trees lining the edge? Maybe a small beautiful garden with no plants or flowers and everything arranged just right. I try to get a sense of the landscape around my home, and what I picture is a beautiful border of trees, shrubs and flower beds lined with small chairs and tables off to the side. Most beautiful of all is my neighbor’s garden that abuts my own. We don’t compete with each other at all. She even has a little Catholic mass going every Sunday morning.
It is her way of expressing her faith. A laid-back, easy-going kind of religion. A tolerant, “you’re-hot-so-you-can-be-hesitate-about-your-sectile-affairs” kind of religion. When I go to her home, she was in the middle of remodeling it, which is now a unit several times larger than my own, I am surprised to find rows of chairs arranged in beautiful order, almost like a stage set. There are round tables, and square tables, and… well, you’d know it after a few minutes.
This woman has no interest in religion. But she believes firmly that this is her garden and she can make the decision as to what plants will look best. She and her husband choose plants and flowers for their own pleasure. She enjoys sitting out on her patio or in her garden as much as he enjoys doing in ours. He likes having everything arranged. She likes having an area to relax in, and she invites people to enjoy in her landscape.
We like to sit in the swing at her place. It’s nice to have a spot in the sunshine to sit down and read a book or just enjoy a pleasant day. It’s even nicer to have a spot that you can cook in, and spend quality time with your family and friends.
The great thing about having a spot like this is, it isn’t very expensive to build. You can use many different elements to make it look as natural as possible. Such as using rocks of all colors and sizes, and mixing up your soil to look like mountain ranges.
The most important lesson I have learned from that is, if you truly love something, you want it, and you are willing to spend the time, then go for it! We chose a small area because we like sitting out on our porch. It’s lovely, but the area itself is rather small. If you love sitting out in the fresh air, then you want to be sure to create that environment in your own yard.
I hope you are able to learn from my mistakes. It is not easy, especially for a first time gardener. I turned out to be way too ambitious. I started out by trying to make a garden that was large enough to hold all of the fruit and vegetables that we fruitded. As time went on, I added different kinds of flowers, grasses, and creeping plants. I added a deck for my riding mower to sit on. I bought some patio doors for the front of the house. I even painted the house. It took a lot of time, but I am so glad that I listened to my husband’s advice. I am so glad I learned to love and care for our yard. I wish I had hired a professional first. Any one of you who feel like Lupines can do it – please do it! It’s a lot of fun.