Posts Tagged ‘deadhead’

I am a novice gardener.  In fact, until we moved into our new home a year ago and paid actual professionals to get our yard put in, I have never been able to keep anything green and growing.  Having the professional help gave me the courage to try a few things on my own here and there in our yard.

Because I am gardening challenged I decided we needed to start small.  Most of our landscaping involves bushes and trees that pretty much take care of themselves (although I do like the cool tree-pruning saw from Fiskars that my sister got me).  Our decisions revolve around how to lower the maintenance of all areas of the yard, including using drip irrigation in the beds around the house to keep the weeds down and planting grasses (which just need a “haircut” in early spring – something I learned just this year) in key places instead of anything trickier .

However, we chose to use the rock area in the front of the house as our showcase.  I was nervous to tackle even this boulder-filled 3′ x 9′ space of higher-maintenance perennials and annuls.  My hope, however, was for a high-impact but manageable area for this gardener who didn’t even own a spade (trowel?) until a few months ago.

Do a dustbin & wooden spoon count as gardening tools?

Do a dustbin & wooden spoon count as gardening tools?

Now that we have gone through one complete year of growing I am learning something about myself.  I like to tend this little space of drama in our yard.  I like to spend 15 minutes each week to weed the entire yard, holding back branches and stems to find the hidden culprits that don’t belong.  I like looking out my office window or driving up to our home to see this burst of color, texture and life that changes day by day.  Gardening is a practiced art form but with new discoveries along the way.  I have found that I like painting the canvas of our yard as much as I enjoy any other creative outlet.

One aspect of gardening that never ceases to amaze me is the concept of “deadheading” or pinching off dying blooms to redirect plant energy to producing new blooms.  It seemed so odd to me at first that in order to achieve more flowers that I had to cut some off.  Of course, I searched the internet to make sure I was doing it correctly for each type of plant (it’s not as hard as I thought it would be) and started deadheading.  I am amazed by the vibrancy and prolonging of the flowers as I have tended to this tiny space all spring and summer.

Garden 2

It has made me wonder about my life in general.  I love this idea of removing things from my life that are taking up my energy so that it can be redirected to create new color.  Deadheading my life.  What a concept.

I had a conversation recently with someone after observing their teaching style.  He had packed so much into his lesson that it became a long list of things to do and not a lot of actual practicing and incorporating the principles into real life.  I have a masters degree in education and even though I work as a designer right now, my previous life was as a teacher.  I encouraged him to cut out about half of the info and focus on the “nuggets” that were getting lost.  I will never forget his response.  He said, “It’s harder to cut it back than it seems.”

How true that is.  It’s difficult to take a hard look at our lives and decide to let go.  We hang onto so much – maybe for sentimental reasons or because we spent time or money on it or we have the idea that perhaps we’ll need it someday.  Whatever the reason, consider letting something go this week.  Maybe you just say no to a new task or assignment.  Maybe you clean out a drawer or cupboard and get rid of half of the stuff in there.  Maybe you need to decide it’s ok to forgive someone and let go of the hurt or anger that you feel.  Whatever it is, we’re in the middle of summer and it’s time to deadhead.

You just might be surprised by the growth and color that follows.  Whether you’re a novice green thumb like me or are the envy of all your neighbors, enjoy gardening your life!

Garden 3

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