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At the end of the driveway, I set two planters, the ones that resemble half barrels. I planted them with perennial flowers and we faithfully walked a watering can of water to each planter (nearly) every night all summer long. Then, we missed a few days but the heat and scorching sun took no similar break. Swiftly, the planters were toast. Sad and pathetic. I dragged them back to the garage and deposited them beside the driveway, a daily reminder of failing to abide by the precious things I had been entrusted with.

Low and behold, weeks later a pale green stem unfurled from the presumably dead flowers, awakened by random rain. As if to speak my gardening motto, “Benign neglect”. I am not the caretaker of hot house flowers or delicate orchids that need attending. I am a scatter seeds, come-what-may, random interloper kind of gardener. Dig a trench, up end some pots, split some bulbs, prick out seedlings. See what happens. I do not encourage my OCD tendencies in the garden. I am not a bonsai trimmer or topiary clipper or even a precision box wood hedge.  I don’t have an electric hedge clipper, preferring to nip and snip and lop freestyle. I am more in the vernacular of the English (slightly overgrown) cottage garden rather than the French Versailles garden.

Don’t get me wrong. I love an Architectural Digest worthy *designed* garden. But I am just not the kind of person with enough time or patience to maintain such a formal space. And, I love the random wildlife, critters and crawlers that reside about my yard and home. If you look closely, the Gerbera daisy has offered shelter to a small insect.


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