When my husband and I first built our home almost 13 years ago, the entire property was a pristine, blank canvas waiting to be brought to life. Inside there was no furniture or anything on the walls. Outside, both the front and back yards were empty grassy hills.
I had absolutely no idea that I was a gardener or that I had a creative bone in my body. Facing that empty landscape, I remember feeling overwhelmed. One of my friends brought me to a local plant sale at 6 AM on a cold, damp, rainy spring morning. “We have to get there early or we will miss out on all the good plants” was her explanation of the ungodly hour.
With hundreds and hundreds of different species on display, people everywhere were racing to get their plants with such an intense urgency that I could swear their lives depended on it. I could barely breathe. The expression on my face must have priceless. The next thing I remember, I looked down at the little red wagon my friend had absconded from an unsuspecting ‘plant competitor’ and found it full of ‘perennials’. “What the hell is a perennial?” I softly asked. “They come back year after year so you don’t have to replant them. They will be good for your garden” she reassured me.
So we returned home with a car full of these green things. “Let’s start with your front garden and then if you enjoy that, you can continue in your back,” my friend suggested.
I stared at my formidable enemy, the empty landscape. Somehow those plants had to make it into the ground and I had be the perpetrator of destroying that pristine space. It is hysterically funny now but I was seriously in paralysis just contemplating putting a shovel into that grassy canvas.
In the pouring rain, donning our ponchos and rubber boots, we braved the mud, dug into the earth and started planning with gusto. A few hours later, drenched and soaking wet, we sat looking at our creation with great satisfaction. “Wow, I did it!!”
And that was the first inkling of realization that I loved to garden, that nature’s canvas was my painting to create with plants, and the beginning of a wellspring of creativity that has gushed ever since.