My landlord really has a green thumb and her garden is just beautiful with the many amazing blooms that she has planted. Over the last weekend, she flew back to tend to her garden as winter is approaching. She mentioned over her email that she needed to "winterize" the garden and I obviously had no clue what she was talking about. My only experience with plants was limited to killing them! So I volunteered my help in hope to learn a thing or two from her.
So early Monday morning, I was all geared up in my garden clogs and gloves, eager to start my "apprenticeship" under my shifu. To my horror, she started yanking out all the still pretty flowers. She must have noticed my expression as she stopped to explain that in order to prepare the garden for winter, she had to cut back the fading blooms, stalks and leaves.
By doing so, not only can pests and diseases be prevented by not leaving plant debris to decompose on the ground, cutting and trimming some of the perennials will also ensure that they grow more hardy and vigorous come next spring. She also mentioned that by trimming the plants and removing all garden debris, weeds and invasive plants now (which is a back-breaking task by the way!)...the garden will get off to a good start next year and there'd be less grooming to do in the spring when new shoots are trying to poke their way through the soil.
So all these beautiful blooms....GONE!
Just look at the huge pile of leaves, branches and weeds that we had removed from the garden! It took me more than 10 trips to/fro with a huge wheelbarrow to clear out all of the garden debris.
While I thought the empty plots looked horrible, my landlord had exclaimed "look at how beautiful that is!". I guess for me, all I could see were the ugly stumps and dirt...whereas my landlord was already seeing the beautiful spring blooms in her head knowing that her garden is all prepped.
In that half day, I have not only learnt about gardening...but also several life philosophies. That sometimes in life, you need to let go of good things for even greater things to come. And if you work hard now, you'd reap the rewards later even if you can't feel/see them now. Finally, enjoy life to the fullest while it lasts.
Letting go is always hard....and to console myself, I've taken several of the last blooms and put them in little vases/bowl...perhaps my way to hold on to beauty/summer/warmth for that little longer....