By H. JEAN SHIELDS
Special to The Breeze
Gardening time is really right now. Garden areas should be all cleared and tilled and ready for new things, or old things should be moved round and some bulbs could be divided.
The garden centers and even the grocery stores are full of enticing things to
take home and enjoy. Sure we all make a few mistakes in our choices, however how could we be gardeners if everything we brought home one day stayed perfect?
Where would we be if all the weeds and grasses disappeared from our garden beds?
Or if all the crab grass and grubs were gone from our lawns?
How long would we be happy just setting around twiddling our thumbs over our great luck at having nothing to do but lay in the hammock, and wait for a rainy day?
Maybe 10 days?
All living things need to grow and change; the struggle of life is what it is all about, for plants, grasses, gardens, and humans. We just cannot deny for very long that we are here for a purpose, like it or not.
Seeing a 3-year-old stuffing her little nose into a sweet smelling rose, a teenager growing his very own first hot pepper plant, newlyweds planting their first rose bush - we cannot deny the pleasure of a neighborhood home surrounded with an abundance of beautiful plants and bushes, grown by an experienced gardener.
We can't forget the grandmas and grandpops of gardening who have a wealth of gardening experience to be enjoyed and shared with anyone who is interested.
With all of the new technology at hand to look up names and histories of many, many plants and trees, we have a lot of knowledge right in our own homes.
Books and computers are great. However I find I do not remember everything I read, only a few lucky people can do that.
I still need to stroll through the garden centers, go to plant sales, stroll through someone's yard and touch and smell growing things, even though I know they may not be the same in a few days, or be gone entirely as the seasons change.
It gives one a sense of stability to know that when one plant goes, another one can not be far behind. For every growing thing, another will surly come to delight senses.
Well, there are a few growing things that we can do without, however we soon learn how to rid ourselves of the unruly and messy things growing around us. We do that all the time as we live and grow in our every changing world. Decisions may be hard. Do we really need to throw out something or someone, or should we try again.
This is the season to remember how lucky we are to have dear friends in our lives, and in our gardens. Remember to forgive a favorite plant as it falters and becomes lost to us. Perfection is not a kind word to me - too much stress to worry about it having to be a necessity.
It's better to enjoy the good growers and tend to them and rid ourselves of anything that causes us pain or grief. Life is full of give and take and while we must live with the takers, we must concentrate on the giving.
To give your garden tender care and sustenance is to learn how to live with others in the same manner. The more of us that do this, the more of the world will be a beautiful and sensible place to live.
When you are in your garden, in the hot sun and dry soil, remember you cannot change everything, but only you can improve their environment to help them thrive.
We always need to be reminded that we can help our gardens, ourselves and many others by living a nurturing and loving life. Take the time this weekend to really enjoy what and who you have in your life. Invite a new plant or person to share a short time with you.
Do not put restrictions on growth or look for perfection, just enjoy. We never truly know how much time we have in life. Be thankful for what you have, right now.
Happy gardening until we meet again.
H. Jean Shields is a past president of the Garden Club of Cape Coral.