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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – August 21

I’m sure you know how it feels to tackle a project you’ve been putting off, and finally getting an area cleaned or organized. That’s how I felt this weekend as I devoted a good amount of time to clearing out the piles of clutter in my office. Not that I work in my office all that much, you understand…it’s a small, windowless room and I prefer to write and work by a window where there’s natural light.

Nevertheless, my office has been a dumping ground for papers for the past two years so it was past due for a cleaning. I hauled out three, count them, three garbage bags of rubbish.

That was my Saturday. On Sunday my mother-in-law came over and she remarked that the landscape around our house was filled with flowers. “There are flowers everywhere,” she said. I realized that I take them for granted…of course there are flowers everywhere! It’s August and I’ve been planting shrubs, perennials and annuals like a crazy woman for the past four years.

And yet, my mother-in-law’s remark reminds me that this isn’t necessarily the norm. Not everyone lives in a garden that is in full bloom for the entire summer. I am reminded to look at my landscape with new eyes.

Here is what I take away from this weekend of cleaning and seeing the garden in full bloom: Assume nothing and appreciate everything. Plant a wide variety of things that will flower, keep your environment cleared of unwanted plants and weeds, and always, always, keep your eyes open and say thank you. Thank you.

One wall of my office is filled with books and a few garden-themed objects, just for fun.

My desk is, at last!, clear... so I can see my Weeds tool kit and the drawing by local artist Jack Maness.

On the wall opposite the bookshelves, the bulletin board is filled with pictures, objects and....

And outdoors the garden is filled with flowers.

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