Spring is time for a new chapter that I’ve been avoiding. You watch the joy of your life grow like a seed you’ve planted, it grows away from you and it’s good. As my son goes off to the army this gardener is out of a job.
My purpose has always been deeply grounded in art and nature. I raised two sons to respect nature and enjoy all its treasured moments. With my oldest son we would go fly-fishing and go on travels, with my youngest it was kayaking and fishing of which I learned more than I taught.
In recent years I have learned more about plants as I build wildlife gardens, all the blooms and plants are native and used for local wildlife. I choose host plants and nectar plants that grow with little water or care.
I have counted more than 50 bird species and almost as many butterfly and moth species: the gardens are working. It is a great feeling to build something and watch wildlife come.
This year, the garden will be much of what grew last year. I am allowing the winners from the previous year to grow even stronger roots and adding complementary plants such as more milkweeds, dutchman’s pipe and herbs.
I’m going to show the different stages as the garden starts from scrubby overgrown mess to a bit more controlled. It is important for me to show how to maintain a wildlife garden that doesn’t drive the neighbors mad that’s the new idea this year.
I always find a metaphor in nature and especially gardening. I am finding a new path, choosing order over chaos, discipline over disorder and I’m excited about writing, photographing and describing the process.
If my son can go and learn discipline and structure, I am inspired that I can do the same. Wish me luck.