Report From PIA – May 21
I did a landscape consultation today for a couple who was conflicted between themselves about how much to change. One member of this union wanted it all to stay the same forever and ever, and the other wanted to make changes and lots of them.
Part of the conflict was that the existing plants were put in by a relative, and perhaps have come to stand for that loved one. Most gardeners can relate to this sentimentality, I think; we’ve all grown a plant that was given to us by someone else, and often the donor is no longer with us. We remember loved ones through our gardens, certainly.
But a shrub, perennial or tree is not person, and I for one believe that we’re often much closer to that lost friend than we think… we don’t need plants to act as an intermediary. Some plants look great forever and are both an asset in the garden and a reminder of those we love. Other plants don’t improve with age. In the case of ugly or overgrown plants, the best thing to do is to clear the space and start again. With gratitude.
Gardens are constantly changing, and like it or not, our lives are too. Saying hello and goodbye to plants parallels our experience with people and everything else. We can’t cling and always keep things exactly the same. What we can do is to be grateful for the people and plants we have loved, and to embrace the circle of life, change and all.