The untended garden house

This is the first spring for our little garden house. It was a dream five years in the making. John worked so hard to design and build it. I researched plants and could see everything in my mind’s eye.

Yet, in December, I started to feel unwell and grew sicker for the next few months. Once I understood the full scope of my illness, I knew a spring garden was not going to happen this year. Instead, it’s been left untended since winter. It’s seen snow, weeds, and intermittent showers.

What strikes me is how some of our fall plants have lingered and flourished without care. They’ve run wild beyond their borders and sprouted the loveliest flowers. Ladybugs are combating aphids, and wildflowers and cactus are encroaching upon the garden’s exterior walls.

It reminds me of something my grandfather used to say, “God willing.” When you’d invited him somewhere, his response was always, “God willing.” I’d laugh and knew he’d be there. Now, I better understand what he meant. We’re not in as much control as we’d like to believe. When you think of it, most of us will still have plans and dreams the day we leave this Earth. There will be things we don’t get to finish. We have to lean more deeply into “God willing.”

The loveliness of these surviving plants changed how I want to approach gardening next spring. I want an unkept garden with hardy plants that will do well even when I’m not able to care for them. Plants that surprise me with their strength and beauty. I think that’ll be a good metaphor for life.

Here are John’s design plans for the garden house.

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