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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – July 25

Everything is connected to everything else. This was a frequent theme of my “Report From Poison Ivy Acres” posts, and was in my mind again today. If you want proof that all is linked, go into the garden. If you want to think about your life as a whole experience, start where you are and think about how it’s all related.

Today I went into the garden expecting to deadhead zinnias and clean up/prune back some of the annuals in my containers. (Side note: I’m still waiting for an Osteospermum that doesn’t stop blooming when it gets hot.) As I gathered a bucket and pruners, I became distracted by how beautiful the daylilies look, and the size of the first Buddleia flowers.

“When will someone breed daylilies that truly bloom all summer?” I found myself thinking, and, “I wish all the flowers on the butterfly bush were as large as these first, incredible blooms.”

As soon as these thoughts crossed my mind, I  remembered a line from the book I recently enjoyed, The Art of Racing In The Rain. The story is told from the point of view of Enzo the dog, who at one point muses that “People are not generally satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have.”

Guilty as charged. My daylilies and butterfly bush are beautiful and what am I concentrating on? Some unknown but wished for  Hemerocallis and Buddleia of the future. Stay in the present, I reminded myself.

Turning toward the my containers, the Verbena bonariensis caught my eye. The tips of many of the plants are contorted…what on earth is going on? Unfolding one of these twisted plants I see tiny larvae of some sort. The container cleanup is shelved and I start cutting as many of these distorted Verbena as I can, knowing that if I want a good show of flowers in September that I should also spray spinosad as soon as possible.

How like life this is, I mused, clipping the pest-ridden plants and dropping them into my bucket. We start in one direction and first our yearning for something more pulls our attention away from the splendor of the moment. Then life pulls us in directions we didn’t intend to go, and we must cope with unexpected problems before proceeding with our plans.

Once again my garden reminds me to be here now, to do what I can do at this moment, and to look for wisdom everywhere it grows.

This 'Kathy Rood' daylily is looking especially lovely.

and those first flowers on the Buddleia are spectacular! So why can't I just enjoy them as they are, without wishing for more?

I don't know what the larvae are in this Verbena, but I want them GONE! I spent about 30 minutes cutting them off.

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