Yesterday, I was out in the garden with an apprentice graduate who was there to tend and weed. The vibrancy of plant life was magnificent. The lavender is budding and about to bloom. The Artemesia has spread herself out so wide that the path beside her has disappeared. The Rosa officianalis, with its electric pink flowers, is fragrant and amazing.
There is fireweed down near the bottom of the garden. And the grasses in the garden are the holiest ones of all. Some grasses stand much taller than me and you sometimes get the impression of being swallowed up by their vastness.
In amongst the grasses are buttercup, nettle, horsetail and also a bit of motherwort.
This picture I am painting is of the wild garden that we have here.
Last year, a rewilding happened. I let the plant world in the garden be. I surrendered my tiny little will of wanting a perfectly manicured garden and allowed the authentic being of the garden to emerge.
Now this year, we are cultivating very slowly. We planted oatstraw, a fig tree and from a bed that was weeded, borage is growing. The raspberry patch is newly covered in goat manure and mulch.
This process of rewilding and now cultivating from a deeper sense of who I am and who the garden is are leading me on to examine my motives for cultivation. In the past, I worried about what others thought. I worried about how it looked. I yanked plants out because I thought they were damaging my garden and our earth. I thought negative things while I gardened and became very anxious at times.
Now I am seeing through new eyes. It is a practice to do this. The tangle of weeds and planned plants sometimes still worries me. But then I allow the in breath of the plants to nourish me and I expand my vision. My garden is a healthy and holy place. Not only do the plants sing their songs rejoicing in their lives but also celebrating my choices to learn from them.
The insects, the bees, the wasps, the caterpillars have become messengers now. Swatting them away has been replaced with “What wisdom have you to share?”
Listening has replaced working hard. Conversations have replaced worry. And now the garden is our teacher, our companion, our beauty.