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Report From PIA – December 5

It’s one of the times of the year when I’m at the garden center in a concentrated way. The three weeks after Thanksgiving are important for wreaths, arrangements and other custom work, so I’m one of the “elves” who create beautiful holiday arrangements for the garden center’s customers.

This means that I’m experiencing my garden from the point of view of not being in the garden. It’s interesting.

Sometimes we appreciate our surroundings as we’re enveloped by them, and other times we value these environments because of there’s a distance between what we love and where we need to be. For this period, I need to be out of the garden.

As I work on things that will bring beauty and pleasure to other people’s holidays, I balance the enjoyment of working creatively with the realization that it is, after all, work.  I’m reminded of my college years as an art major, when my boyfriend of the time thought that that my ceramics classes were all fun. “You spent all day playing with clay,” he’d comment.

Anyone who consistently does something creative knows that it is indeed work. It takes effort to make something beautiful, thought provoking, or otherwise pleasing. It might be joyous, but it is nevertheless an exertion.

People see the actual physical aspect of gardening as work, but most don’t understand that the conceptual, design process is also an effort. Creativity takes energy.

So today I’m appreciating the vigor it takes to create a landscape, and the drive necessary to make lovely fabrications.  I acknowledge that designing a garden for oneself offers greater rewards in that we get to thoroughly enjoy the results of our labors. When we create for others, we may find joy in the process, but it is definitely work.

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