A few years ago, I visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Inside the greenhouse area, I was completely stunned to see the magnificent Cissus verticillata plant for the first time. At first, I didn’t even realize I was looking at a plant because this fascinating specimen has aerial roots that hang down like garlands. How incredible to think of letting your roots, your very source of life, hang totally exposed to the world! With no soil to protect them, everything that makes this plant exist is left completely vulnerable for all to see.Read More
Music from my garden
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." -Andy Warhol
When I slow down to take in the world around me, I am overwhelmed by the beauty and magic that surrounds us. These moments of wonder change and inspire me and I hope they will uplift you, too.
Filtering by Tag: growth
If only there could be little signs or cairns directing us on our path in life. How reassuring it would be to have confirmation that you made the right turn, or that you have reached your destination. How helpful it would be to have advanced warning about difficult times approaching.Read More
Though this plant had barely even popped out of the dirt, it was already bold enough to show off a cheery orange blossom. It wasn’t concerned at all about being too small or not being ready to support a flower... The discovery of this tiny flower, helped me refocus and realize that the only way to truly prepare for the unknown is to open my heart.Read More
I am finally learning to weather these times with more grace by realizing that this is only one season of my life. Like my rose bushes in their dormant season, not only is it just not the time to create showy flowers, and it is actually not physically possible. So long as I’ve watered, fertilized and I continue to weed ruthlessly, sometimes there is nothing more you can do but wait patiently till the season changes.Read More
I am crazy about roses. I could spend a whole day just admiring their delicate petals, marveling at their vibrant colors, and drinking in their intoxicating scents. I inherited my passion for roses from my grandmother, who was a florist by trade and rose show judge. At an early age, she had me rolling up my sleeves to help spread manure around her rose bushes (which I wasn’t crazy about at the time!) and learning to prune and nurture each bush.
Cutting roses back in the winter is always a fascinating chore for me. What I have learned is, the more ruthless you are about cutting back those beautiful canes, the more you will be rewarded with bouquets of beautiful blooms in the spring. I used to struggle with this process, excruciating over every cut. “Should I really cut that cane back so far?” “What if I cut too much and I miss out on some roses as a result?” “That’s a nice looking cane, maybe I should just leave this one a little longer?” If I stick with the pruning principles my grandmother taught me, the end result is a few stubby canes sticking out of the ground. Not much to look at! But I have learned to trust the process. I no longer see my rose bushes as ugly in this phase. I see them ready to burst with new growth and new beginnings. I’ve also learned that if I give into my fears and leave the canes too long, I’ll end up with gangly rose bushes that can’t support their new growth in the spring. Inevitably, I will spend the rest of the year staking up blossoms that are too heavy for the plant to support and regretting my momentary lack of courage.
My garden is always teaching me important lessons like this. After the roses are pruned, I look around and ask myself, "what am I clinging to that really needs to just be cut back, or removed altogether?" "Am I brave enough to go dormant once in awhile to prepare myself for new growth?" "Can I handle looking unattractive for a few months in order to fill the world with beauty for the rest of the year?" If only I could borrow the courage of my rose bushes and put my stubby canes out there, so unapologetically, confident that a new season is coming.
I usually feel most comfortable when I am in the position to offer beautiful flowers to my friends and family. But my rosebushes remind me that risking vulnerability is one of the best treasures we can offer our loved ones. Putting ourselves out there gives our loved ones permission to take risks too, with less fear of judgement. Writer Katherine Center captured this sentiment perfectly, saying: "You have to be brave with your life so others can be brave with theirs."