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Garden Reports and Rejoicing – February 6

At the garden center today I was taking photos of the plant relocation. The front greenhouse is being renovated so all the houseplants needed to be moved to the larger space that is fondly called The Taj Mahal. Coming into this house I was struck by how different the selection looked. They were the same plants that I’ve seen dozens of times but in this new context they looked changed. I noticed leaf colors, plant shapes and flowers that I hadn’t seen before.

Back at home I decided to use this experience. I took all the objects that have been on my mantelpiece for months and put them in the closet. Other vases and objects that I like were collected and these went into a new display.

Although it’s more difficult to do this with shrubs, trees and perennials, it’s not impossible. How often most of us hesitate to move plants, even if they’re not thriving or looking right in that location. We don’t take action because we think of them as already being planted, and therefore permanent

This doesn’t have to be the case. I remember a woman that I spoke to who told me that she transplanted frequently. “All the plants in my garden are on wheels,” she said.

We can also design gardens to allow for annual alterations. Space can be left in any garden for annuals and these can be changed from year to year. Ornaments might be moved, lawn furniture painted, birdhouses added, or new colors put on buildings. I’m wondering what “new digs” I might fashion this season.

There are many times in our lives when we have opportunities to shake things up and see the familiar as if everything is new. The key is to identify those openings and take action.

The houseplants in "the Taj".

This is how my fireplace looked three years ago.

This is the display I had up in December and January.

And finally, this is the display I put together today. Changing our environment lets us see things anew.

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