Over the last eight years, I have written many columns encouraging people to face the space in which they find themselves and to create the garden that lives within them.
Particularly in the midst of the difficult economic period of the last decade.
Disturbingly, one of the things that I often heard when I initially spoke to groups or talked to people about the plans they had for that space was the statement that they were not living where they wanted to live, so they were just going to wait until they were, and start gardening then.
Many felt frustrated – sometimes downright angered – by life events and economic downturns that were not of their making and which had placed them somewhere they didn’t want to be, no matter how hard they had worked or how good their choices had been.
They saw no sense in gardening a rental yard or a small patio or a hilly urban slope – particularly when the home and garden shows, books, websites and media images constantly showcased big bucks being spent on big renovations they knew they couldn’t afford.
When you’re feeling trapped by your circumstances and watching others live the dream you once had for yourself and your family, it’s hard to move on. I understand that feeling – I’ve lived it.
Through my profession as a garden writer, I’ve been privileged to tour a lot of the high-end gardens of the “1 percent,” all the while working with a limited budget and resources in a garden that I never intended to call my own for two years (much less the ten we eventually spent there).
It’s a stimulating job, but it can also be mentally tough. I quickly grasped that I could either wallow in constant comparisons – which always left my garden wanting and made me feel envious, or I could use those ideas as inspiration for my own outside space.