Spring Weeding Comes Before Spring Cleaning- Part 2-
by Katherine Denton
Last month’s article focused on taking a cue from the garden when approaching spring cleaning. Your pursuit of a beautiful, tranquil home and garden will be more successful if you take care of the weeds and the clutter first.
Beautiful gardens and homes take effort and planning. Once you have a plan, start working toward your goal. For example, in the garden, you can take on an overgrown weedy patch and turn it into a vegetable garden. Or vice versa, in your home it can be an unruly closet that you wish to turn into a storage space. Weeding brings clarity to what is important. Once you have weeded out everything that you don’t believe to be beautiful, necessary, or important, it is time to replant the room or the garden. Think low maintenance. Less is more. Give yourself and your family space with room to grow.
The easiest to maintain gardens are filled with perennials, and indigenous plants. Perennials in your home would be the basics that you rely on, use, and enjoy. Think of your annuals as minor changes like pansies in the spring, or seasonal decorations during the holidays. Stop the search for more stuff. Search for simplicity. Simplicity brings tranquility.
When starting over, consider the wildlife in the area. In the garden, planting deer resistant plants can solve a multitude of headaches. In your home, this wildlife may come in the form of children, pets, and spouses that enjoy garage sales. Plan accordingly. If you adore invasive plants, confine them to an area. If you have collections of treasured items, corral them to specific areas so they don’t overwhelm the space.
Just like gardens, our homes need maintenance. You can’t appreciate your blooming gardenias when an overzealous butterfly bush overshadows them. And you sure can’t appreciate the heirloom in your living room if it has 50 things on top of it. Maintenance is lowered if you have fewer plants and objects to prune or clean. Less is usually best. Your garden and your home are like a work of art in progress.
Watch out for ants, hornets, and other pests. If you don’t pay attention, you might find your hand in a moving mound of dirt. This can happen when we don’t check what’s going on around us as we work towards our goal. Sometimes, not everyone is working towards the same goal. Some may actively work against it in protest of change. A harmonious garden (and home) is when all the plants thrive and support each other.
Share the wealth. When removing old plants and unwanted personal possessions, pass them on. Same goes for extra produce and flowers from your garden. Give freely. It will come back to you in other forms.
There is an undeniably great feeling that over comes you when you enter a well planted garden or home. It reminds me of an old Chinese proverb. “To be happy for an hour, get drunk; To be happy for a year, fall in love; To be happy for life, Take up gardening.”
Go get your hands dirty! The rewards are beauty, peace, and tranquility.