Are you always able to see the forest as you walk through a timbered area? Or do you just see the trees? Unfortunately I often am unable to see the garden because of the plants. I am so concerned about fertilizers, weed killers, plant selection, insects and diseases that I forget about the real reason to have a garden. It is a place to spend time and put everything back into perspective.
I live in the middle of God's creation, otherwise known as the woods. I like to think that my landscape is a heavenly one, because God designed and installed it. He even maintains it for me. I never water or rake leaves, yet I am thinking about adding a few of my own touches with garden accessories.
I love to watch birds flit about, flying to a feeder and maybe then to a bird bath to preen. There is nothing pretentious about them. They preen to clean their feathers so that they have insulation needed to survive in cold weather. They know what they need to do in order to thrive instead of survive. They seem to do it effortlessly and efficiently. There are no wasted motions. I wish I knew their secret.
Then there are other times when I want to sit on a garden bench and remember Chris. It seems like yesterday that we lost him, and yet it has been more than 20 years ago. I often look at benches in other gardens and read the inscriptions. Some make me smile, while others prompt a tear.
Have you ever seen a fat duck lie on its back and laugh? I saw a concrete caricature of one the other day in a garden, and I started to laugh also. I've heard it said that laughter is great medicine. I just felt better after the hearty yuk-yuk.
Sometimes I like to sit in a garden and talk to or listen for a word from my maker. I forget about all of the items on the to-do list, relax and listen. I've found that if I quit talking and just listen, I often hear solutions for my problems. Sometimes the solution is to be patient. Now that's a problem.
Marilyn and I live such busy lives that it is hard for us to find time together. We are planning on building a patio that will be bordered by plants in pots. I prefer to keep the habitat for creepy crawlies up in the air so that maybe they won't take up residence in the middle of our patio. When the patio is done, I'm sure that we will often find ourselves in the middle of it, enjoying the quiet and each other. I'll also bet the wine glass will be close at hand.
I'm sure that God in heaven is probably shaking his head. He really doesn't need my help with landscaping. I'm not worried. He has forgiven me for things a lot worse than adding accessories to his garden.
Send your gardening and landscape questions to Paul Schnare at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63702-0699 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.<I>