Exposing my shortcomings and imperfections here is something I have struggled with. Photography makes it easy to frame the beautiful aspects of the garden and crop out the areas that need attention. I've made a few attempts at showing ugly time periods and garden failures, but I've mostly kept the focus on what is going well.
Likewise, revealing my personal life has always been a little uncomfortable. I started this blog with the intention of combining my lifelong journaling practice with photo documentation of my garden work. There are plenty of plants and projects to focus on without involving personal details. However, as I live and work in my garden, my family has certainly been alongside me and a regular part of the time spent there. In the early years of my relationship, it made sense to show how we worked together or even argued about various aspects of different problems.
Then there have been milestones that seemed too important not to mention. I always felt a little off topic with these posts, but they somehow felt necessary and I tried reminding myself that there aren't rules on this blog.
Much more so than in my day to day existence, where I am open about what I've been going though, revealing my divorce here, in a public forum, places me solidly in the discomfort zone, combining a sense of failure with another tangential mention of my non-garden related life. I certainly considered not mentioning it, but because it put my entire existence into transition, including my garden, it has started to feel like some sort of giant hole I'm trying to ignore.
While deliberating on how, or if I could write about it, I came across this post which gave me a little more courage to open up about where I am.
These photos are of my garden as it passed through the spring of 2014 without my help. Many people think of gardening as a therapeutic pursuit, but in my darkest hours, gardening only felt like work I was too weary to do.
So I didn't do it. I hardly even looked at the mess my garden has become for well over a year. My sweet neighbors mowed my lawn for me a couple of times. I made several impulsive purchases of some pretty something at work and then left it to die on my front walk before ever planting. I finally stopped shopping altogether. Grieving felt like a part time job.
I am by no means the only one who had my seemingly settled life upended by infidelity and divorce. There are a number of blogs on that topic, and this one saved my sanity, but it's not something you hear much about on a garden blog. How to continue when there is no progress to document? I've allowed my blog to lie mostly fallow along with the garden and tried to be okay with it, though I've spent way too much time kicking myself about both lapses.
While helping customers at the garden center, numerous people apologized to me for letting their garden go while their husband had cancer or their child was ill or their mother died. I always reassured these people, who felt compelled to confess to a garden center employee, that the garden will wait for them. Anytime they are ready to venture out and begin a little clean up work or whatever. It will be there. You are allowed to let things go sometimes. Why is it so difficult for me to accept this myself?