Report From PIA – September 2
Today I worked on two projects in the garden. I finished laying patio stones and planted ornamental kale. Looking from the solid walkway/patio to the ‘Peacock’ kale, it struck me that these two activities were pleasing in opposite ways.
The walkway/patio area finished off the odd shaped area that was out our kitchen door when we moved to Poison Ivy Acres. From day one I wanted this paving to extend to the stairs that lead down to the lake, and after we built the grape arbor, it made good visual sense for the stones to end there.
Knowing where we wanted the paving to be, the only question was what material to use to complete it. Yes, we could match what was already there, but that meant paying for more of these cast concrete blocks. There were piles of similar cast blocks on the property, and it seemed a shame not to use those even though they were a different color. There were also a bunch of cobblestones in two sizes.
My husband had discovered that a local stone countertop maker had pallets of scrap granite (free!) and that decided us. The new paving would be a hodgepodge of granite scraps, and the leftover cement blocks and cobblestones.
Finishing this patio/path was satisfying because it will be with us for a long time. In contrast, the kale I planted at the front of the perennial border will only be in place for a few months. I plant kale to provide something new for fall; it’s a way to celebrate the changing season. The kale isn’t long lasting, and that is part of its appeal.
Sometimes we do something we think is for temporary satisfaction, but it turns out that we gain from it for a long time to come. I started photographing Cape Cod gardens as an interim project that might, a long shot I knew, lead to a book of such photographs. Instead, it led to a career as a garden communicator. What I thought was a short-term endeavor turned into an enduring pleasure and profession.
Is it necessary to know if an accomplishment or activity is going to give long-lasting satisfaction before we take it on? Or is it better just to take action, to make an effort and to start down a particular path with faith and optimism, willing to see where that path will lead?