Since my husband and I moved to Central Oregon four falls ago from Fairbanks, Alaska we’ve been talking about landscaping our yard. We’ve thrown a few plants in here and there but nothing substantial. Finally this year we got serious about actually doing it.
When we lived in Alaska we spent half the summer getting ready for winter and autumn was a blink of an eye until the snow came down. It was an amazing place to live, and a hard one too.
I so appreciate four full seasons in Bend… and the time I actually have to get things done before old man winter arrives. With the climate seemingly shifting widely from year to year we’re not sure when that will happen this time around. Last year we had much warmer weather, even into November. This year we had over 2 feet of snow in the mountains mid-September, with only a smattering of temperatures above 70. So who knows how long fall will really last this year.
So, as many of you know, coming up with a landscaping plan for a yard can be a daunting task. I started with great vigor, reading blog posts from Master Gardeners in this area, heading out to chat with people who worked at greenhouses to get ideas, drew out a map of our planting area, thought about what was shady and what was sunny, weeded every area we would plant new things, composted and mixed it in with the soil… and then I started to get overwhelmed.
“What if I spend all this time, energy, and money, and everything looks like total crap," my brain thought to itself. Sure we could get someone to come in and landscape for us, but at a great monetary expense, and that’s just not how my husband and I do things. We’re hands on/DIYpeople.
So I had to take a step back. Which is always the best thing one can do when overwhelm sets in. What’s my goal in all of this?, I asked myself. I ‘d like to have a lovely landscaped yard with flowers and bushes that bloom from spring through fall. I know they’ll need water, fertilization, and weeding. Then I asked myself, what’s my biggest obstacle here? The fear that I’ll mess it all up and have to do it again starting over from scratch.
Now that fear could keep almost anyone from moving forward, but then I remembered something a Master Gardener told me during a class I once took. “Everything is an experiment, even for Master Gardeners”, she said.
“Sometimes you plant something one year and it does fantastic. So the next year you plant the same thing in the same place, it’s a bust and you don’t know why.”
I realized, I probably won’t have to start back over from complete scratch. Some things I plant will probably look fantastic, and some things just won’t make it no matter what I do. And do I really have to plan out and plant every single thing I want to put in right now? No. The idea sounds amazing, but the reality is, it’s not really a feasible, or even great plan. I’ll plant some things now and see how they fair over the next growing season, then plan again after that.
Gardening is just like so many other things in life. It's not meant to be rushed through. You do a little, then you step back. Do a little more, step back again. It’s part of life’s ebb and flow. Nature’s ebb and flow.
Where in your life do you need to stop the rush and step back?
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