Gotta Garden

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Something interesting is blooming.  Some years ago I obviously planted it but since (as I just looked up) it is only hardy to zone 8B, it really has no business blooming here.  I kinda sorta remember moving it and putting a sorta kinda marker on it to remind me.  Bets are I thought it was another of the red variety when I moved it, which I do like...but, surprise:

Yellow Lycoris aka Lycoris Aurea:

Haha, just when I thought I would do a link about it, I find somewhere else saying it is easily hardy to zone 5.  Well, then, it definitely should be hardy here (and where has it been all these years??).

I had an epiphany of sorts.  Not the religious type.  It just sort of descended on me that this house, this garden is not my forever place.  And since that realization, nothing has really been the same.  Nothing will happen right away (unless DoD sustains even further cuts, ha), but, at some point, we will move to somewhere that will suit us better.  It's very expensive here and the hubs has an awful commute, among other things.  From my perspective, working on a hill has become a chore.   

This led me to thinking about how/what I should do about my garden.  I have one of those yards that simply no one (in its current state) would want to take over.  I myself have become weary of keeping it up.  The weeds are winning.  The days when I could/would work all day outside, regardless of the temperature are gone.  

(a little look during peak bloom this year)

So, I've begun culling the herd.  When the daylily bloom season began, I had over 700 registered daylilies (and countless seedlings in the backyard).  Currently, I've just gotten below 500.  Still lots more to go as I hope to get down to 350 or so.  And maybe even further from there.  

I've resorted to weed whacking seedlings but darn if they don't spring right back up.  Ha.  It's not just daylilies that have to go, either.  Strange how your perspective changes when you look at everything with the thought:  Are you worth the effort of caring for you?  Am I willing to care for you?

In addition, there have been various other changes.  I've become a foodie of sorts.  We no longer eat processed food (okay, occasionally some ice cream, if that counts, and whatever might be found still in a carefully chosen restaurant meal), wheat, soy and some other stuff.  

I spend inordinate amounts of time sourcing our food.  It's getting somewhat easier, in that regard, but needless to say, I also spend a great deal of time cooking.  Not that I mind, as I actually like cooking.  There's a great deal of thought that goes into our meals now.  No more ordering pizza or picking up Subways (those were the days).  

My days fly by and often I realize I haven't even been outside to enjoy my garden.  Who would have ever thought that?!  Especially in summer (okay, in winter that's the norm, lol). 

 I still enjoy gardening.  Yesterday I was emptying driveway pots and remembered I had thrown some carrot seeds into one.  Little colorful carrots were in there, delightful to see, and helped me realize that I could grow such in pots (especially if I paid attention to them, e.g., watering and thinning).  


This year, I seemed to have more interest in garden things than adding plants (because I obviously have zillions of plants).  I like a bit whimsy and humor in the garden.  Peaceful areas are very appealing as well.  Privacy is huge to me and well, my front yard has none these days.  With the loss of the two large redbuds, it's like being on display always and constantly.  It did let in more sun, which the daylilies have appreciated.  

But. back to where I began...things are-a-changing, as they say.  I'm changing.  Just part of my life's journey.  I've been working on this garden since 1999.  The longest I've ever lived anywhere is here.  I like most things about here.  

It will hurt, somewhat, to reduce the garden.  It's hard letting go of things, whether they be inanimate possessions or living plants.  There are memories attached and monies spent that often make it feel like a failure or a waste.  It's often not worth the trouble (most often) to find the plants new homes.
These feelings have been working on me for some time.  I just pushed them aside and ignored them until an incident happened in the neighborhood that profoundly affected me.  It's not worth going into the specific incident, but I realized I lived around some people who view life (in a very broad sense), neighborhood friendships and just tolerance differently than I do.  It was quite shocking to me.  Very unsettling.  It felt like the sun didn't shine as brightly. 

I felt my heart harden a little and I didn't like it.  Despite efforts and intentions to forgive and forget, I found myself for.the.first.time.ever thinking that I could move.  Willingly.  A new place, a new beginning sounded very appealing.  Which is so weird, if you know me, as I value strong roots greatly as someone who has had said roots ripped out unwillingly so many times.  I know how hard and long it takes to develop the connections, the favorite veterinarian (for instance), the friendships, all the things that make living somewhere feeling like more than home, rather community. 

I can give it up here?  That answer is a simple yes.  I would not have thought it.  For years now, the joke between my husband and myself was my answer of 'bye' to his any thoughts of a move.  I do want the forever place.  I'll never have the place where I can say I have lived for endless years.  Such is life, I've come to realize.

It wasn't just The Incident.  I recognize that things have been in the works, probably since the loss of my beloved dogs.  They were the beginning of the end of things here, I think.  My Kobe lived his whole life here with me/us.  What an amazing thing.  I will take him with me, wherever I go (literally and figuratively) which is what he would want.  Riley, too. 

There's no perfect place, I know.  It's fun to dream, though.  Wonderful to think of living somewhere without a cranky neighbor who occasionally complains about my dogs barking.  Exciting to dream of somewhere they can run and chase squirrels with abandon.  Luxurious to think of somewhere I could freely walk out in my pajamas without seeing anyone.  Nice to think of quiet, especially at night when my Rudy feels it his duty to report on anyone opening a car door or whatnot.  Not sure if this is reality for me/us, but pleasant to think of living somewhere where if I let the yard go, no one will care.  No more homeowner associations!  Ha. 

This dreaming, of course, extends to what I would like (differently) in a home.  How much better the space will be used, etc.  

Wish me luck.  It will take lots of time to downsize this garden.  It also depends on why I'm downsizing.  If I'm moving, then the choices and decisions are more absolute.  As long as it is still in the future somewhat, I'm rather hazy on it .  

We also need the housing market to improve.  A lot.  I have no desire to be a landlord for renters.  Been there, done that and found it not my thing.  

There will still be garden adventures to write about.  And maybe other stuff.  I no longer travel as much for gardening (not that I still don't enjoy a beautiful garden) and realized this past summer that I probably attended my last regional meeting.  It just doesn't have the same allure for me.  I wouldn't say the thrill is gone exactly, I'm just content with a lot less.  In many areas of my life, frankly.  

Until next time....


Jan said...

Hi Katie, Interesting post! Seriously, I can relate to just about everything you said! We would like to move from our HOA too...somewhere away from the DC suburbs as well. Still have 1 in HS and might stay here thru college but after that, I'll have NO problem getting outta here. I would have to do drastic things to my garden too...especially my back gardens. There is no grass so it's all plants! Most people won't like that...I realize. We change with time, as do our gardens. The old adage 'to everything there's a season' rings true ;) BUT...I'm glad you aren't giving it up totally and you'll still have your blog so I can stop in now and then. I have NOT been blog visiting for over a year...but just suddenly decided to see what is going on with you. Glad I did ;)

Anonymous said...

Brave of you to be able to consider moving on. Most people tend to grind along not quite happy but not seeing the opportunity to change and develop. I bet as you reduce the garden you'll find there are many things you don't miss and there are many other things you may appreciate more. Good Luck!

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