The Choices We Make Are Not Set In Stone, Garden Design 101

Garden Design 101 begins and ends with the choices we make based on an infinite number of variables. These choices are first based on internal motivation which I can’t readily define. Definitions of internal motivation are near impossible due to the complexity of the chemical composition we are made up of as human beings.

Moving on.  The choices we continue to make that shape our individual identities are more clearly defined by the many emotional and intellectual experiences we have throughout our lives. The reason I can say, “more clearly defined” is based on how the external world continually bounces off us, documented in so many of our daily actions. When choosing flower colors to put around our lives in our homes or planted around our properties, it is undeniable that our favorite color or colors translate into the plants we decide to purchase. No one can say that they haven’t been imprinted in some manor by the multitude of experiences, good and bad, that brought them to this moment. This is where todays lesson begins.

The battle between physical experiences and internal motivation also interpreted as nurture verses nature. Questions begin sprouting everywhere. How much control do we have over the choices we make? Once choices are made what is the process of accepting them simply as a beginning or an ending? Most people have some degree of self awareness that guides them. Some people are more in tune with how they are affected by outside influences while others find it easier to live a submissive life of acceptance. Neither way of living is truly fulfilling. People who has survived severe trauma know far more than most, just based on their individual life events. The balance lies in our ability to transfer knowledge and understanding from the outside in without fear. Don’t be fooled by the subtlety of fear. Life truly begins when being afraid is shed from our constructs. The recommendation here is not to disregard safety. The recommendation is to leave ourselves open enough to be influenced by every possibility, no matter how foreign.

I like the color peach (pink and orange) but have learned that this color has little life on it’s own. Without the constant contrasts of other colors in the environment peach would be like any other shade of gray, void of depth and character. At this juncture it should be obvious, any one color needs to be surrounded by elements that augment the special qualities of that specific effect of bent light. Elements involved in bringing the greatest amount of life to any one color can be in the form of other colors (that was obvious) and plant textures (leaf, bark, stems, seeds, manipulated size and angles). As overwhelming as all this can be, this is what life is about. Here is the challenge. Learning about what one likes, experimenting with how to breath life into the world so others can bounce against it and be better. It is the outside worlds reactions to the life and experiences we have created that begin to challenge and expand our own beliefs. OMG that was a lot to express.

The question remains, do you understand or are you clouded. Do not feel bad. Most people are clouded. Too often I find myself clouded, having to remember to breath deeply, recognizing and appreciating the simplicity of the breath to sustain life. You do it. Breath deeply and focus on only that. Continue doing that (breathing deeply) until all there is is the sounds and vibrations of breathing. If this is hard for you, calming yourself, don’t burden yourself with that thought. The idea is to begin. The act of beginning gives you a chance you didn’t have just a moment ago. Even with the noise of the world around us we can find peace and stillness, clearing the fog until all that remains is you, your breath, your life. From this state of calm comes focus and clarity. If you have never taken this pathway, it’s time. If you have journeyed this way before, please join me as we begin planting the world around us.

For too many years I believed that when you planted something there was value in that action. The developing growth of that plant would change the world. I still believe that as gospel, just with greater understanding.  First, I no longer believe that the planting is the ultimate gaol. I am still on the pathway of discovering the ultimate goal. What I have learned is that NOTHING IS SET IN STONE. The choices are innumerable and changing directions is highly recommended along the way. No decision in gardening as in life has to be viewed as an ending. When the notion of concluding something creeps into the field, breathing becomes shallow, energy is sacrificed and expectations begin to taper. My new approach is based on choices that are constantly in motion with a plethora of opportunities to either redirect or drastically change the original choice. Gardens as they relate to our lives demonstrate parallels that I would love to explore and share with everyone.

Right now all I can disclose is that as gardens and landscapes are neglected so to are the lives we live (health, relationships, ect.). My goal is to take everyone on a journey recognizing the neglect, choosing to be better and maintaining a life in motion. Cutting that first branch with expectations of how it will respond, the restoration of plants and life begin with reshaping , transforming and the acknowledgement of life’s value. The final demonstration of living well is after a healthy state has been regained. The process and practice of consistently managing and maintaining our plants, our lives must begin. The hardest thing I have ever done was to recognize how much I didn’t like the person I was. The same is true with a Cork Screw Willow I planted in the rear of my property 9 years ago that now needs extreme care to restore its value to the overall landscape. Now that I am finally saying it aloud and accepting my neglect in the landscape I need to begin taking action as I did with my life in 2010. I hope you will find your way back to my website and writing. There is so much life to practice and perfect.

Peace today, tomorrow, always.

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