"In nature, everything looks so imperfect and unscaled, but the formation is so beautiful." ~ Bhavesh Chhatbar

Imperfection At Its Finest

   The Beauty of Imperfection ~ Never do we realize this more than in the summer garden. I myself am more of a cottage gardener. I actually find it easier because I like the idea of guidelines but no set rules. I have a large perennial garden that each year surprises me in its imperfections; it never looks exactly the same two years in a row! A plant will flourish  a certain year and the next, well not so much. With (finally) some measureable rainfall and not so broiling temps, my phlox paniculata just may flourish this year. Last year I had cut out half by the beginning of August. Every year it is an imperfect surprise - but so beautiful. To make it work you need to be willing to 'give up' on certain plants for the season; cut (down) out losses so to speak. Garden beds & pots will fill in and flourish for they are resilient!
    The most imperfect of all plants is the annual 'volunteer'. These serendipitous plants take hold and bloom from seed in no time at all it seems. Do they grow in the most awkward of spots at times? Hell, yeah! Do they come in handy when other annuals fail & you need a fill in? Amen, yes!! Such is the case this year with some of my beloved zinnias that are being insect eaten, with some bouncing back & others not so much. Volunteer petunias to the rescue! These volunteers transplant beautifully and in a few weeks it will be a seamless change.
    So I would be remiss if I failed to mention that our gardens again mimic our lives in many ways. Today's lesson is that we are fabulous creations of imperfections too! But, of course, we already knew that. The gardener in us has blessedly allowed us to step away from our day, our thoughts for minutes or hours at a time. The gardens we cultivate have shown us that new growth & life is always right around the next (garden) path for us & we should never stop taking that walk because imperfection is where it's at & it is beautiful!

Are you Pot-Bound?

By definition: Pot-bound: Having roots so densely matted as to allow little or no space for further growth.

   During this planting time of year, we certainly know what a pot-bound plant looks like. We know that before planting we need to break up those roots gently but firmly before planting or those roots will continue to spin in circles. The plant may not die, but it certainly will not thrive. As this quotes from Sarah Ban Breathnach reminds us:

"When your roots are stunted, gently untangle them with simple joys that reveal Spirit's seamless thread of mystery. Leaf.   Stem.   Root.  Mind.   Body.   Soul."

   So how do we go about untangling those roots of ours? That would certainly be different for everyone. Yes as SBB states, find what quickens your pulse, brings a smile... So what better time of year than summer to be out & about rediscovering our dreams, passions, interests. Starting small can be the start of something big. Perhaps you visit a library, an antique shop you've always wanted to explore or the terrace seating of a restaurant you always wanted to try. If you are on the way to a destination like a beach weekend, make stops along the way at produce stands, shops, garden centers; you never know what may quicken that pulse with an idea or a spark. Last weekend I went on a free tour of rain gardens in my area. I did not know anything about them, but now a spark has been kindling in my head of a new garden in a rainspout vulnerable area of my garden prone to flooding. I had no idea what to do with that area until last Sunday... (more on that in future blogs, I'm sure!)
  So the simple keys to loosening up those roots: be creative, imaginative, brave, authentic. Include friends, family on this too. Simply doing absolutely nothing but on a never visited park bench can be just the tug those roots need. Loosen & Go, I mean Grow!