Monday, June 17, 2013

On Learning Patience


Oh to be a patient person!

My entire life, I have been an impatient sort - my mind a constant whirligig of quick thoughts and fast pronunciations.  I am the early person, circling the neighbourhood, anxious to be the first person at the party, the dinner, school, my job, you name it.

Having children taught me a modicum of patience.  Not as much as I would have wanted to have, mind you, by a modicum of it - you can't hurry a child and when you do, the results are often disastrous for all concerned.



Learning to bake taught me a modicum of patience.  You must follow the measurements and instructions exactly, or the results are less than edible.


How many times did I make "spoon" fudge in my life?

But I must tell you, what has really taught me patience is learning to garden.


Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.
May Sarton 


When I began to garden, I knew NOTHING about gardening.  And neither did the people who owned the house before us, as there were two lonely cedar shrubs and that was it.  So I read and read and did trial by error.  Some things I had to dig out and move, some things died, some things still die.  It can be sad and frustrating and a tad embarrassing, but then it can be awe-inspiring.  Everything starts to come up and then you are in countdown mode for the whole thing to wake up and grow dammit (no, i don't speak to my plants like that!)

Right now, there is a lot of green, but not much in the way of flowers, so the snowball bush is my great delight!






and I wander around the garden and stare at all the plants in awe and a bit of hope.  Imagine that one of the most beautiful flowers in the world is hidden within this hard ball...





or that very soon these zucchini will be climbing their trellis..




But mostly right now, I must enjoy the green, because the colour show doesn't begin for at least a couple of weeks...



I'll leave you today with a picture of my Sweet William, which is just beginning to bloom.  I think that Sweet William is just about my favourite plant name, surpassed perhaps only by Hollyhock or Foxglove.    They are such old fashioned names and they make me think of all of the gardeners who came before me and the people who named these flowers once upon a time...



Even their faces look cheerful, don't they?

Well today is prom day - we are going to hope that the rain holds off for the key moments.  After prom we will be over run by about 5 couples, who are coming here to swim and watch movies all night.  Ah to be 18 again...

Have a great day and stay safe out there!

33 comments:

  1. I also love Sweet William and yours is gorgeous! I'm getting more patient as I get older which means I am enjoying my garden more, I've got plenty to do out there this week.
    Good luck tonight with the kids!

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    1. Yup - I am getting better too, but still suffer from the "let's go!" tendency!

      thanks will need luck!

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  2. I am not the patient one in the family but my patience has grown over the years. Your garden looks wonderful and I am delighted to see it bloom through your posts. I think gardening is a lot more challenging than cooking. You have to deal with the whims of nature so you are doing a marvelous job. So nice to know that you will be with your son and his friends après prom.

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    1. Hi Marie! \
      thanks for the kind words! I hope to be sleeping in bed during the shenanigans!!! But one never knows!

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  3. WENDY, WENDY QUITE IMPATIENT Love that photo of young DD and DH, a bit poignant today with prom milestone! Your garden is glorious, I attest from recent first-hand experience. Pat yourself on back with well-mudded glove. My fave English flower names include Gentian, Grass of Parnassus, Mistletoe, Cowslip and Primrose, not necessarily for what they actually look like, but images they evoke.
    Brave you for hosting after-party, great thing to do.

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    1. Oh love Cowslip - forgot that!

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  4. So true...I hardly have a "garden" but it definitely does make the process of growth and the reward of the wait so tangible. I wish I learned the virtues of gardening as a kid, would have taught me a lot. Funny enough one of the ingredients to happiness according to a few modern philosophers is simply delayed gratification apparently!

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    1. I wish I had learned it too - my grandfather and grandmother's garden was amazing - wish they had lived long enough for them to pass that on to me! The only truly frustrating thing about our property is that there isn;t much of a full sun spot - would love an old fashioned cutting garden!

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  5. Think how optimistic you are, if not patient! Gardeners are an optimistic lot, by nature, as we are looking beyond our current failures. "Oh, well, next year when I stake the peonies they won't flop like floozies", etc.

    As long as they are safe. This was my prom mantra. I did not permit ANY alcohol on these occasions as some parents did, taking away the keys. BUT, it's falls, unwanted sex etc. So good luck tonight!!!!

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    1. we are the non-alcohol parents too - I cannot understand the parents who encourage them to get dead drunk when they are so young and stupid and wearing such expensive clothing!!!

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  6. This reminds me of the garden I used to have and wgich I miss terribly. Same here....when I first moved there there was almost nothing planted, and when I moved, I left it a 'jungle,' as the neighbours' grandchildren used to call it.

    Hope the prom night goes well!

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    1. Rose - I am all for good jungles!!!!

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  7. Not only are Hollyhock and Foxglove great names, they are such gorgeous plants! Our peonies are in mid bloom, and are so pretty. I am incredibly impatient and I hope very much that when I have children, that will change. Ooh, prom! The swimming/movies after will be more memorable than the prom, I'm sure :)

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    1. Well I hope the kids do have fun! I just wish the sun would come out more than it is! It threatens to rain and then passes on. Crossing fingers and toes!

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  8. Prom day, superb, I hope 'my boy' has the best night tonight!
    Your garden is beautiful, I am terribly impatient, with hubs and even with 90 year old mum, I will clap them along and say speed up if the story they are telling is too slow and overinvolved. I blame the digi age - er yes and myself.

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    1. I would like to blame the digital age, but I fear it is all me - have been an impatient person since the day I was born!

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  9. I should put a lot more work into my garden, it would be therapy and peace. Plus my mother says i wouldn't need to go to so many exercise classes as its such a good workout!

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    1. I don;t know - I garden a lot and i still need to lose 15 pounds!!!

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  10. I agree about the names, and those are 3 of my favorite flowers. (Along with stocks and delphiniums- such a cottage garden effect.)Your lawn looks lovely, and I am sure it will be all you want before you know it. Props to you for hosting the after party!

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    1. It will be a little loud - just got back from prom and it is pouring out so they will be inside the whole time!

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  11. Your yard looks so pretty already! I have a black thumb sadly. I like to garden, but the plants don't like me to. Patience was never my strong suit. Ever. And aren't you brave, hosting the kids after prom night. Good for you!!

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    1. Hi Jennifer - I can't believe you have a black thumb - everything you do is so beautiful! My thumb goes black now and then (lost a whole bunch of Columbine once...)

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  12. I am always leery of praying for patience cuz ya never know what God will give you. Have toned down tremedously since having kids...and now older parents. Your garden is lovely already and will age gracefully like the rest of us I hope.

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  13. I love, love your garden, such a perfect place to listen to God or a friend, still envious of the visits you've had with GF.

    Ha, will have to show you in a few days what I pulled out of the dirt patches we have.

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    1. T.R - please do! I love to visit gardens and see pictures of gardens. Makes me so happy!

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    2. Well ... it's not exactly something that belongs in a garden, at least not a good garden. ;)

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    3. You will see ... it is our height, hehee.

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  14. The prom wrapup sounds perfect! I hope they all had a good time. Your gardening post gives me hope. I long to grow some good things, but it's so frustrating. I'll have to keep trying. And find some more patience. ;)

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    1. Hi Gigi! I meant to plant more veggies, but when we signed up for our garden box this year, decided to concentrate on herbs and tomatoes! You do have to keep trying. It must be intimidating out where you live - the gardens out in California can be quite elaborate!

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  15. I can be infinitely patient with problem-solving one moment, and the terrible-tempered Mr Bang the next. I'm starting to wonder whether patience is in fact a virtue, or only a tactic.

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    1. Ooh Fred - you are a great philosopher! Love it!

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Kindness is a virtue...