A garden surprise of a kind

It’s been three years since I’ve lived in the countryside. Not extremely long, I agree, yet when we still had snow on the ground I was incredibly impatient to start gardening.

For years I’d been dreaming about a wildflower field of my own. The house that I used to live in, back in Finland, had a big old garden, but it had been regressed to a neatly mowed lawn in most places.

In my dreams back then, I’d be sitting in the garden, full of wildflowers of all colours and shapes and sizes. It would be a haven for butterflies, birds, bees, and hedgehogs. In the late evening mist I’d pick a few fresh buds to fill a vase in the kitchen.

Anybody that knows anything about flower fields, knows they don’t just appear on mowed lawn. One needs to leave the land unattended for quite some time, cut whatever grows there perhaps once, twice a season, throw some seeds around, and keep fingers crossed. This was an unthinkable process where I lived, for numerous reasons. So I put the field dream aside and enjoyed the perennial tulips, rhododendrons, peonies, mock oranges, and lilacs.

Having missed the country living and gardening, I was going through flower catalogues and making plans a few months ago. I was excited, finally back to the country, with some land of my own! I was sketching already for the years to come, but for the first summer I thought I was being reasonable, a few beds around the entrance of our plot and the house.

As it happened all my plans fell through. First it was too cold on the mountain for any kind of planting. Next I was working abroad. And soon after that we went travelling to Finland. All this time I was frustrated and disappointed in myself. What kind of a gardener am I? I’ve planted nothing, absolutely nothing, nowhere. At the end of June I find myself looking at the garden, and nature has taken over. It’s like the flowers and weeds are looking straight at me, laughing.

Yet on the flip side, to my surprise: I’ve got myself a wildflower field! There’s something new blossoming every day, I get to pick fresh wild ones to the dining table, and the garden is full of strikingly beautiful butterflies and buzzing bees!

I thought I knew something about watching the world go by and enjoying whatever happens… I’m amused for learning a lesson about slow living in something so evident as gardening. Nevertheless, I’m saving my plans for next year, though adding a wide patch of wildflower field!


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