Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Bleeding Heart

Habit. I know not every one is like me, but let me tell you how I am. I change. One thing at a time. I stand back and look at the last 20 years of my life and in all honesty, I’m proud of myself. I’ve changed a lot. For the better. One little habit at a time. I like success and one little habit makes success achievable for me.

So it is with my garden.

I’ve had this little plot along the shady walkway to my front door. When we bought the house, there were a few winners there like the bleeding heart pictured above. It also housed some real losers. With some amazing soil amendments and an intact watering and drip system (thanks to the previous owners) I was off to a great start. Our first year, I made a few basic changes. In the spring I began to envision what the space would do. The fall came and went with a few more changes. The empty spaces I filled with pine cones. Cheap. Homey. Joe wanted to talk about the watering system on the back deck. He wanted to see flowers on the front deck. Nope. One thing at a time. The Walkway. My first project. I wanted it to become mine and I have been patient.

This spring I was finally able to invest in campanula, lamium, hydrangea, hostas and shade loving roses, special ordered just for the space. As some of you know, roses don’t grow in the shade, but these do!
I’ve researched, planned and patiently worked to see this space take shape. Until last week when tragedy struck. This isn’t the first hardship the garden has had to face this season. Earlier, we were infested by Odocoileus hemionus or “mountain rats”: mule deer. They almost ate all my roses. $30 later and repeated applications of repellent, the roses are saved. However, this week’s tragedy has made my heart bleed.


Today, I started digging plants up and potting them in hopes that they will live. So far, my roses are okay. A friend assured me that poison was the only way to get rid of voles and she also assured me they’ve never eaten her roses. My happy hydrangea looks okay. It’s too big to pot. I hope it lives.

Joe and I used the Vole Invasion as an opportunity. We cleaned up the space. We discovered the watering system needed some attention and the hose thingy needs to be replaced. We threw away old bird feeders and moved shepherds hooks. Since I was pulling out plants, trimming everything down, moving bird baths I also decided to bait for earwigs and slugs.

It’s just a garden. I know that. But I can’t help wondering if my plans just aren’t God’s plans. Ever. Hope deferred makes the heart bleed.

Maybe it’s what Robert Burns meant when he penned,
The best laid schemes of Mice and Men
oft go awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

I guess I'm starting over.