Garden Update: A Bigger Vision

I haven’t given a garden update in a long time, because I’ve been super busy working in the garden. In the past few weeks, I’ve quietly increased the front yard garden by another third. Having the extra space means dedicated spots for tulips, lilies, crocuses, and Dr. Seuss-like alliums, plus more room for fall mums, and spring hyacinths and daffodils. I’ll also have more growing areas for things like garlic and carrots.

In fact, this upgrade and expansion began when I realized I didn’t have anywhere to plant bunches of garlic. I started adding Big Bag Bed Mini’s on the inside edge of my existing garden. You can see two of them towards the bottom left:

Those who’ve followed the evolution of this garden will notice another upgrade: a sculptural raised bed to replace the dying, dead, then toppled weeping birch tree.

I miss the birch tree, but it had been dying since we bought this place in May 2017. I nursed it for awhile, but it felt so discouraging to watch the tree’s demise no matter what I did. The woman who planted it stopped by and revealed that this was the third weeping birch she planted in that location. This eased my feelings of inadequacy. I already knew this was not a preferred spot for birch trees, but now I knew it would never thrive there. It wasn’t my fault. I stepped back and allowed nature to take its course.

Once it died, the birch became a bastion of wildlife. So many species of birds landed on those branches, and we even had a nest of wrens. On June 18, 2021, in a post called “The Next Phase and a Collective Dream,” I posted about the tree toppling over in a storm. (11:11 as I typed the title). All that day and the next, birds flew in to pay their respects to the fallen tree, but then they stopped coming. That half stump felt like a persistent reminder of loss.

I couldn’t decide what to plant instead. David and I considered everything from a weeping Norway Spruce, to a medlar tree, to a crabapple or even a sculpture instead of a tree. One day, I decided to add a raised bed out back and went on Gardener’s Supply Company to find one of the troughs I loved in Goshen. While looking at those, I came across this — a sculpture and a raised bed:

You can see another layer of Big Bag Bed Mini and three new Smart Pots between the new raised bed and the original outline of the garden. I needed to add rock (bottom center-right) to even the ground. A dream gave me the solution to filling this thing. I used a combo of cut up Smart Pots and Big Bag Bed Mini’s to line the structure. That will keep the soil from rushing out and also provide better insulation than just a metal structure.

I planted the mum’s so it wouldn’t look like an empty bed, but the real fun will bloom in spring. This bed is layered with early and mid-season tulips, daffodils, alliums, and grape hyacinths. I have very early blooming crocuses en route to me as I type. I haven’t decided what summer plants will go there — probably some kind of drought hardy perennials, plus a little space for annuals like nasturtium and zinnias. I can’t tell you how encouraging and uplifting it feels to have fall-planted bulbs filling themselves with life below the surface. Literally a difference between death and life.

Yesterday, I realized that my ideas for the expanded front garden coincided with a decision to turn a pair of sunglasses I rarely wore into indoor/outdoor glasses with transition lenses. These are big cats eye glasses, but I kept feeling a nudge to make the switch. All my other glasses turn from regular lenses to sunglasses when I go outside. I’ve found I prefer these to straight sunglasses that remain dark if I walk into a store. Wearing these makes me giggle, and faeries love to giggle:

As strange as it sounds, I feel like these huge lenses led me to “see bigger.” Actually, it doesn’t sound strange to me at all. I wrote a very long post called “Vision and Shapeshifting: A Matter of Perspective.” That post shared more selfies than I had in an entire year prior. Despite knowing I didn’t really need another pair of glasses, it kept nagging me to get them. I became a little obsessed with the idea and looked into David’s vision insurance. Indeed, it’s good insurance.

Long story short, I got these switched to transition lenses, and I agreed to try a pair of polarized sunglasses in a “ruby” tint. The polarized lenses were another leap for me. After my TBI, polarized anything made me so sick that I never tried them again until 23 years later. So glad I did! My point here, though, is that the bigger lenses — and perhaps the curiosity of cats’ eyes — resulted in new garden solutions and expansion. Small, symbolic shifts can lead to big 3D world changes:

My mind sees succession planting of blue hyacinths, fancy daffodils, and 60 days of blooming lilies in that empty Big Bag Mini. There’s a matching one off frame to the right. This upgrade and expansion makes the yard feel like “mine.” It doesn’t look like that much more because of how I worked with existing flow — but that expansion makes a huge difference to me.

Gardens are such wise teachers. Never underestimate the power of flowers. Have a beautiful day!

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Pedro on October 11, 2021 at 11:52 am

    “Never underestimate the power of flowers”: such a beautiful phrase. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  2. Posted by eat2evolve on October 11, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Beautiful! I wish you could come and help me design/plant my front and side gardens!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  3. Posted by seattle72 on October 11, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    I’ve been seeing Hexagons everywhere. I mean, everywhere. So I YouTube’d it. I stumbled upon a video entitled “Hexagons are the Bestagons”, 9ish minutes of awesomeness. The creator intrigued me so much, I found this video, which supports the idea of trends vs data points when creating changes.

    I love the level of detail, perfect for overthinkers.

    Hope it’s OK to share here.

    💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. YAY! All looks beautiful and always love the synchronicity flow.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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