Late July is my time for adding to, and subtracting from, the flower garden. Although most people in this area seem to plant annuals only though the first week in June, I am placing them in the garden this weekend.
By mid-summer many of the biennials and a few of the perennials are dying back. The Verbascum have gone to seed, the feverfew is browning, and I’ve cut the bleeding heart foliage to the ground. The violas, still blooming due to our cool, wet June, will soon begin to disintegrate. Suddenly there are empty spaces in the garden.
Many of my consultation clients have difficulty removing this failing foliage from their gardens. They’re afraid that they might kill the plant, and they don’t want to create bare places. Some of them can’t imagine doing anything else with those parts of the garden: they decided to place bleeding heart or; foxgloves in that particular spot, and in their minds, that’s all that should be growing there.
How often are we reluctant to make changes in our lives because we can’t imagine doing something another way? It becomes difficult for us to alter what we do, think, say or wear because once planted, we can’t imagine modifying our behavior or thinking.
I remember visiting a dear friend one hot summer day. We started talking about how warm it was and I noted that she had on socks and sneakers. “You’d be more comfortable if you put on some sandals,” I said. She confessed that she didn’t own any sandals. “I don’t think that my feet are very attractive now that I’m older,” she said.
Did she judge others by the appearance of their feet? No. So why on earth would she assume that other people were judging her, and if they were, that was surely their problem not hers. “There is no reason that you shouldn’t be comfortable,” I said, and she agreed.
We got in the car and went shoe shopping.
There are times when we need to acknowledge that a change is in order and it’s time to rip things out and plant something new. We just need to be willing to do the mid-season switch out.