Monday, July 28, 2008

Change for the Sake of Change

I like change. Some people have told me that this is an unusual trait. If things stay the same for too long, I feel like I'm in a rut. I get restless and miserable. For example, I have had three or four different careers in my "short" 37 year existence. (Three or four different careers -- at least -- depending on how you look at it...It's actually all quite complicated.) I also feel the need to constantly change my domestic setting, which is usually accomplished by moving the furniture around in my house. My husband says he is always prepared for things to be in a different spot when he returns home at the end of the day. (A couple of times I think that he was driven by me to move us to a new home when things got really dire. I probably ran out of new ideas for furniture arrangement.) I find that I make most of my changes in spurts. These include a few creative days in a row when ideas are flying at me and I can't sit still.

This weekend, I went on a mad bout of weeding and pruning. It must be termed a "mad" bout because I couldn't stop myself. It started innocently enough. I purchased a bunch of plants on Saturday and that gave me the bug. I found spots here and there throughout the garden for the new perennials and in the process, I moved a few old things to highlight the most recent treasures. I just kept going, from bush to plant -- trimming and rearranging. I decided to tackle an azalea. It is a much loved bush for it is big and bushy with lush flowers in the spring. And I must say that my talent for growing azaleas is not supreme, so I am proud that this one is in pretty fine condition despite my lacking abilities in this area. But over the past few years even this azalea has gotten more overgrown and somewhat unhealthy looking. It was beginning to take over the path to the backyard and was harboring leafless branches underneath. I cut drastically and in the process of trimming back this azalea, I realized that it was really three bushes and not one. AHA! Bonus!

At 6:30 this morning, I woke up to do my exercise routine. By 7:00 I couldn't keep with it any longer...Like a lightning bolt, I figured out where to move one of the azaleas. It was clear immediately after pruning that at least one had to go. I tiptoed by my daughter's room and grabbed the shovel. (In my enthusiasm, I broke the handle of said shovel...luckily I had another or I would have had to use my bare hands.) Within 15 minutes I had delicately wrenched the plant from its home and moved it beside a rhododendron down the lawn. Not too far from the remaining two azaleas resided a hosta that always bothered me. It sat by itself at the corner of the house -- so out of place and lonely. I moved it to the empty spot left by the azalea, giving the area a neater, small garden look, rather than the look of a clump of bushes planted together by the original non-caring landscaper who was probably just looking to furnish a bare yard.

For me, that is one of the best things about gardening. It is easy to alter my gardens. They are better when I move things around every so often. If I don't like the change, I can move it all back pretty easily. I can keep something one way until I tire of it and then rearrange it. Or, I can wait until nature takes over and makes a transition for me. Gardening is never static. Best of all, since the garden is my domain, I don't have to answer to anyone. There is no need to say "Honey I moved the coffee table so don't trip over it on your way to empty your pocket change."

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