A haven of peace amidst weeded gardens

A haven of peace amidst weeded gardens

It’s mid-May. My lilacs are blooming in full glory outside — a lavender and dark purple, respectively. They’re situated at opposite ends of our property, and I love to gaze on them from different windows.

My husband allowed a thorny, wild tree to grow beside our oldest lilac. He likes the juxtaposition of the flowering bush and the sharp thorns that grow on this unknown tree. I think it’s unsightly and some night may creep out and saw it down by myself.

The weeds are flourishing, and I finally broke down and called my very favorite person in the world: R, the woman who weeds my garden. She comes in with swift hand and banishes the weeds to the farthest reaches, creating a clean vista I can gaze on with joy.

While I ever overstate that I love a wild garden that blooms lushly, I also love a wild garden that blooms lushly without weeds. She is fast and efficient, sharpening my edges to a crisp line I can mow around while the perennial beds do their creeping best to overtake them. Straight mow lines and sumptuous greenery. R is my saving grace.

I’ve decided I cannot do without two things: a good mower and a better gardener. I will not feel guilty. We got a new mower this year because we had to, and it mows light as a feather with its Honda engine.

My exterior furniture looks shabby this year. We bought a gorgeous set of chairs at a local bent and dent for a dime several years back, brand new in boxes. I’m sure the defect was the finish of the metal, as it has worn off as fast as I’ve set them outside for two summers. We store them inside for winter, so that is definitely the defect.

I don’t mind this, so I’m buying bronze spray paint to bring them back to life. The cushions that came with them are big and fat, gorgeous in a burnt orange color, but they also retain cat hair. Our outdoor cats thank us each year for dragging out comfy beds for them in the form of these cushions. “Thank you, humans,” they meow before curling up on each cushion for their daily naps. Any good tips on getting cat hair off exterior chair cushions?

The round picnic table we bought at a local store some 20 years ago has seen better days. It’s gone through birthday parties where it was used as a dance floor, several coatings of paint, and it’s never really been the same since it ended up on top of our roof one Halloween as a prank. You know who you are. Right now it has a beautiful turquoise paint on it, which I love. It’s crooked and a bit rickety, but I think I’ll keep it as is. I’ll pop the new umbrella I got on sale last summer on it, and it’ll look good as new. So many good conversations held late at night around this table.

The tree in our front yard has finally been trimmed halfway back, and it wasn’t as traumatic as I thought it might be. I’ll be thankful for less mess and even less leaves this fall. With all that done, it’s time to order gravel and hook up the hose to spray off my porch.

When the porch is done, situated with our mishmash of chairs and small tables, tiny cement statues I’ve collected, and the planters nestled with the giant plants I buy at a local nursery, the peace will settle.

My porch and haven will once again be available to me to haunt, glass of wine in hand and pen plus paper in the other. I enjoy every second of warm weather that blows across my face, worn pieces of collected knickknacks around me. Nothing perfect, but everything mine.

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