Every year about this time, the Juneberry bed looks like this:
A light bulb went on
But yesterday afternoon, I had a gardener’s epiphany. I don’t see this bed from the house, but it is highly visible from the road. What if I weeded it thinking of who was going to view it, and how they were going to view it? People whiz by in their cars. They can see the bright flowers. They can see the big weeds that obscure the structure of the daylilies. They can see the grass growing higher than the daylilies themselves, making the whole bed look sloppy. But they can’t see the ground ivy, the teeny seedlings, and the low growing dandelions.
Why don’t I weed this bed in terms of its audience, its main viewers? Why don’t I weed the whole thing so that it looks good from the road? This may be a no brainer to many of you, but to me it was a revelation. Sure, it would be better for the plants if I weeded it perfectly—and it would take me a week, and meanwhile all the other flower beds would only get worse. Yes, all those grass roots that didn’t come up when I tugged on the grass will resprout, but all those flowering weeds will never set seed now.
So this is how it looked an hour or two after the light bulb went on:
Much better, don’t you think? From a distance, this bed now looks like it is being cared for. I can see plenty of work left to do, but I know I’ve bought myself some time and can turn my attention elsewhere for a little while.
I never dreamed doing a less-than-perfect job would give me so much satisfaction. How about you? What new and obvious insights about gardening have you had lately?