I haven’t written about the garden in a while. I’ve been beating myself up that it isn’t good enough to photograph, or talk about, or inspire. Not.Good.Enough. What??? Over the past eight years I’ve created a garden that brings me right to my happy place. How can that not be good enough? Admittedly, five years ago, this same patch of garden looked somewhat different, and perhaps more inspiring:
In fact, when I visited that blog post recently, the garden blew me away! Seriously, have a look. That did NOT help my feelings of inadequacy for my current garden! But so much has changed since then. The biggest change was that four years ago I went back to work after being a stay-at-home mom for 16 years. 16 years! Wow! I was lucky. I loved it. And now I am glad to be back working (outside the home) too… except that means a lot less time for taking care of the garden. It means that my view of what is Good Enough has had to change. And today I am stopping myself from saying it isn’t good enough, to saying it most certainly is Good Enough!
I will focus on the good stuff: Our fruit trees. We have one pear tree, one “eating apple” tree, and one “cooking apple” tree (Arthur Turner), and they are all filled with fruit this year! I must give credit to my husband for tidying up the base of our trees. Ideally, the clearing should match the width of the branches, so every year as the tree grows, the clearing should be widened. It had been a few years since this task was done, so it was a big job this year. After all of his digging, he then worked a lot of our compost into the soil. I think the trees look neat and tidy, and rather pretty if I do say so myself! (although perhaps slightly tilted?!)
I don’t have a variety name for the eating apples. They are sweet, and delicious tasting. The cooking apple variety, Arthur Turner, are not sweet, and definitely need sugar when used. They are usually a greenish yellow color, but this year they have a pink hue.
This year I planted pumpkins, squash, and sunflowers. As surprising as it is to hear, Ireland experienced a drought this summer. So some things in the garden didn’t quite thrive. My sunflowers bloomed very early and died very quickly! I cut off a few large heads, and have dried them to use the seeds next year. The rest are still in the garden for the birds to enjoy.
It is worth leaving the dying flowers for the birds to feast on the seeds, even though the plants look unsightly! I love seeing the birds in the garden. It is worth having the dead plants there just for them 🙂
The pumpkins also had an unusual growing situation this summer. Similar to the sunflowers, they ripened much quicker than usual. Honestly, it is usually around Thanksgiving time (November) when mine finally turn orange! This year they turned orange in August…
They have provided a lovely splash of color in the garden, along with the summer squash. (I stopped picking the squash many weeks ago, but they still provide beautiful color!)
There are two more pumpkins in the garden, but they have chosen to grow and ripen at the normal rate for us albeit in an unusual place:
I tend to be rather hard on myself. When I stop and pay attention, I do of course appreciate that I have worked quite hard to create my happy space of a garden. “Good Enough” was never an expression I would have accepted years ago. But now I know that it is much more important to appreciate what is in front of me. I might need reminders of that every now and again, but I do now accept that Good Enough is Perfect!
I hope you have enjoyed the views in my Good Enough garden!
Oh I love the wisdom of this! The leaning trees giving delicious fruit, the unsightly dead plants feeding the birds, an imperfect garden shedding happiness on a heart! Isn’t this life itself?
Hi Kirsten! How beautifully you have expressed that! Yes, indeed, I am ever so slowly learning that this is exactly what life is supposed to be! Thank you for visiting my imperfect garden 🙂
Glad that you didn’t talk yourself out of posting these. I think the waxing and waning and changing of gardens is part of their allure. While 2014 was the “height” of our Missouri garden, I very much enjoyed the garden even in years when I was so busy and it was overrun with weed: there were still always interesting things to find/enjoy. now we live in Maine and I am excited to begin my garden plan for (hopefully) next summer.
Hi Spy Garden, Thank you so much for the encouraging comments! I loved seeing your garden in Missouri, and I so agree that it will be exciting to see what you create in Maine! As for me, I just need to keep reminding myself that even the imperfect can be perfect. 🙂