Journey 201: Beauty from Chaos

I was so thrilled today to finish up the flower border on the south side of the house. It’s been my summer project. This border was beautiful, back in 2010, after my grandson Dayan and I planted it. But the tornado and the two years of hot dry summers that followed destroyed what our hard work created. 

Further neglect on my part allowed nature to reclaim those beds, as rose bushes ran amok and grass and weeds found their way through the ground barrier. My focus the past two years has been on the backyard. This summer, it was time to restore order and beauty to these wild sections. 

The hard work has paid off. The remaining plants went into the ground last night. This morning I got to mulch, which, silly as it sounds, is one of my favorite garden activities. It feels so satisfying and nurturing, even, to fill the beds with aromatic cedar mulch, surrounding the plants and covering the ground. 

A thick layer of mulch keeps the weeds away, while holding moisture in the ground. It instantly unifies the beds and the plants thrive under their cedar blanket. The mulch breaks down over time, adding nutrients to the soil as it decomposes. I add fresh mulch once a year. 

I’m so pleased with the way this southern border looks now. Order is restored, out of the chaos of neglect. The young plants will fill in. This area is in maintenance mode now. I reclaimed the little brickio as well (brick + patio = brickio). This evening, as clouds piled up, ushering in several days of rain, I added colorful Lantana to clay pots and added them to the brickio. I love their splash of pink, yellow and orange. 

Last of all, I’ll add an interesting object to the space between the rose bushes. Dayan and I always thought we’d put a bird bath there. Since I now have cats, that no longer seems like a good idea! In between work and errands today I searched for the right garden item…a gazing ball? Statue? Large container with flowers spilling over?

I couldn’t find anything that resonated with me. And then, I thought of an obelisk, which is a tall structure that has a square base and a triangular top. I looked, without locating one. Greg was walking through a store with me. I had not mentioned an obelisk, because I had just thought of it. He suddenly said, “How about an obelisk? I could make you one.” That was my immediate confirmation that this was the perfect item to finish this section. So be it! We will make one together.

Such joy fills me as I walk along this border, to the Peace Gate, which opens to the backyard garden. For two years I’ve literally averted my eyes from the tangled mess to my right. No more. My gaze now rests with delight on this restored garden, as I enjoy a leisurely walk toward the gate. Welcome back, Beauty.