"Your gardens are beautiful!
Did you design them yourself?"
I love to answer this question with a resounding "Yes! We did!" With a love for all things growing and the patience to begin with a plan, as presented in previous posts, we designed our gardens, we performed all of the labor to plant our gardens and are now enjoying the experience of nurturing our gardens. "Why would you ever do this yourself? Why not pay a professional and be done?"
Our first landscaping experience we completed ourselves out of necessity. It was our first home to landscape and there was not a lot of money to spare. We could have so much more at a fraction of the cost if we did the work ourselves. And so we labored and learned all the how to's: how to grow plants, how to water them, how to plant trees, how to weed, ya-da, ya-da. I'll admit that most of our learning came from the "school of hard knocks", but isn't that what life is all about?
Somewhere in the midst of our labor, something magical happened, we discovered that we were growing more than just trees and flowers in our gardens, we were actually nurturing children and experiencing all the joy that comes from working together with them, side by side. Together as a family we were creating something beautiful and enduring, something hard earned and gratifying. Our experience has taught us there is far more value in the journey than in the completed project. In fact, the completed project holds more value because of the journey.
When we walk through our gardens, we receive all the sensual feelings that nature has to offer in such a beautiful setting: the sweet sound of the birds singing, the beautiful mix of colors and textures, the sight of an occasional butterfly gracing our garden... but the overriding feelings are those from the memories we have of working side by side with our children, the sweet exchange of thoughts while digging holes for bushes and trees, early morning weeding during the magic hour, using skills beyond our own to lay sandstone for the paths and patio, planting tender flower starts with grandchildren. Our landscape is a kaleidoscope of all of these memories that fill our hearts with joy. This is what makes our gardens beautiful.