By Lynda Shadbolt
Someone recently said to me, “Look for miracles, not problems.”
I was thinking about that as I worked in our garden starting to clean it up for the winter. A garden is a place where miracles happen. When you start planning and planting and digging in the garden in the spring you just have no idea what will happen. There are so many possibilities with the unpredictable weather, the amount and kind of critters that will show up and the condition of the seeds or plants that you put in. One just doesn’t know what will evolve and yet, one has hope and patience, and these feelings begin again every year. I would have to say to start with, it was a miracle that none of the many deer in our neighbourhood managed to break into our garden this year. Our fencing works! Those who live in our subdivision will understand. But there are other miracles as well. Our zinnias have been spectacular. Tall. Colourful. Wild. They stood beside our cone flowers, bee balm, flox, dahlias, gladiolas, liatris and a couple of flowering bushes. So much colour. Our sunflowers grew at the other end of the garden and were doing so well until a big windstorm blew them all over. Jim grows roses as a tribute to his dad every year and they were beautiful this year. Our rhubarb patch gave us lots of fruit for crisps this summer and we also managed to freeze a couple of bags for a mid winter treat. A new veggie for us to grow was runner beans. My parents love them with roasts in the winter, and so we tried them for the first time. Not only do we have beans in the freezer, but we enjoyed their colourful flowers all summer. Jim is very organized and meticulous when he plants his garlic, kale, lettuce, peas, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and other veggies. He even makes a map each spring. I on the other hand walk around with seeds and do my random acts of planting. Morning glories climb randomly. Nasturtiums line the garden and pop up in our planters. Cosmos surprise us everywhere. One of our greatest miracles this year happened on our new hill.
When we built the addition onto our house for my parents our yard got dug up and re-configured. We now have a new hill that we have been planting flowers on. In the spring, we flung a big bag of wildflower mix onto the hill hoping that something would grow. To our delight, lots of flowers have grown and my favourite has been a good number of poppies. Beautiful, whimsical red, pink and purple poppies. We’ve tried those mixes before and not had a lot of luck. This year we had a little miracle. They make me smile every day. Spending time in a garden fills the soul. The gardener is in direct contact with all of life. The liveliness and the loveliness. The sun shines on every plant, equally. Fruits, veggies, weeds and flowers. The sun shines equally on all gardeners.
“Look for miracles, not problems.”