Monday, May 29, 2023

After 17 Years of Gardening ~our Property Remains a Moonscape in Progress


To look at this view of our property, one would think we had created an oasis on the rocky ridge in rural Frederick County, Virginia. That assumption would be woefully incorrect. Despite 17 years of toil; pouring thousands of dollars and hours of sweat equity into attempts to cultivate the landscape;  the shrubs, flowers, trees and countless seedlings planted with great optimism only to find withered, shriveled, leafless, blighted remains by the end of a season; we have adjusted our expectations. Now, we focus just on the areas we can view from our deck. 

There have been successes: Japanese maple trees, bearded Iris, peonies, weigela, and hostas close to the house.

Lessons learned: wisteria was a very bad idea. It destroyed the porch railings…even the American plants. Mint must stay in a pot. Deer LOVE day lilies. Roses hate our environment. We want vinca to spread like an invasive bamboo. 

Tomatoes……I keep trying. This year: cylindrical grow bags placed in the sun amidst the moonscape. They are always the most expensive tomatoes we eat each year😆 

But, I find gardening and landscaping therapeutic. My regular job is stressful. Any position in corporate America is stressful thanks to COVID, post COVID return to office policies that make recruiting challenging, DEI, continuing to do more with less, the unfathomable jury verdicts, declining ethics of plaintiff attorneys and politicians and mental exhaustion. 

So….scratching out a spot for planting seeds, spreading bags of mulch, digging in the dirt, stalling the potted flowers on the deck, and gazing at the tiny slice of an oasis in the midst of our desert brings peace, serenity and a feeling of accomplishment…even if some of the efforts are less than desired.

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