Einstein famously said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. This path and the surrounding area are a perfect example of his definition. For the first eight years in our house, the hubster and I weeded and weeded it (I even spent a few weeks digging up ALL of the weeds, only to have the majority return the next year – heartbreaker), planted grass seed, watered, fertilized, and mowed, but got the same result. More weeds, more ugly, more mowing, and a whole lotta cursing.
Then, only after being ostensibly whacked over the head by a giant imaginary hoe, we got sane and tried something new. We planted a tree and two yellow flowering currants (friends of the birds and bees!), followed by a whopping sixty kinnikinnick plants. Slowly but surely, the area and our feelings for it began to transform. There was an increasing amount of green and shade. We no longer had to fertilize, water, or mow, leaving more time for more fruitful projects.
This included moving some pieces of stone from another spot in the garden and watching a path emerge (though it is still a little wobbly). Then there were more new ideas. The placement of stumps, the moving of hostas, and the purchase and planting of more than a dozen native plants: strawberries, huckleberries, and bitter cherry trees. No longer an eye sore, it is a pleasure to gaze upon it, as I often do now, from a perch in the bedroom. I look at it and feel grateful for the shade, the clean, cool air wafting through the window, the sweet berries I’ll eat one day, and the blessed sanity of changing one’s path.
Tags: Gardening + Nature
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