"An intricate, delicate, or fanciful ornamentation."
(The Free Dictionary)

"Whoever loves and understands a garden will find contentment."
          --Chinese Proverb

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

When I am not looking...

...great things grow. I am gradually learning to let go of my natural tendency to fuss over things, like my garden. Planning is necessary, of course, to get the plantings established, and I do put some effort into arranging the vegetables and herbs so that they are next to companions that they like. However, once the plants are in the ground, the more I worry and tend to them, the more they are beleaguered by insect pests and disease.

This year, for a variety of reasons, I planted and walked away. One could say that I almost neglected the garden for about three weeks; I didn't weed or prune or inspect the plants for bugs. And yet, when we returned from vacation this past weekend, we were surprised to find many vegetable gems hidden under all that wild, green foliage. Pickling cucumbers had grown seemingly overnight, and the long, plump D'Avignon radishes were popping out of the dirt like stout fingers reaching up from the soil. Under an unassuming canopy of leaves, we found the bean plants were heavily laden with both green and yellow pods. We harvested 2 1/2 pounds of beans and still more young ones await to grow on the vine.

Nature will follow it's own course, for good or bad, whether or not I fret and hover. I wish I didn't have to repeatedly learn this lesson in gardening as well as in other areas of my life. I am sure I can't let go of trying to control every tiny detail because I lack a trust that life will take care of itself; I feel a need to force events to be just so. I should follow the lead of my plants and grow with abandon when the season is right, knowing that the sun won't always be shining and that the rain will ebb and flow. Be fruitful when opportunity strikes and don't dwell on what is less than perfection. Everything grows very well in its own way and in its own time, bugs and all. Should it be any other way?

The wall of cucumbers!

An onion plant flowers after being rescued from the compost bin

A tall variety of phlox