There have been so many changes in our neighborhood this season. One neighbor pulled out an entire hedgerow of shrubs, leaving only juvenile trees behind in their place. Another took out a large stand of, ancient pines, dramatically changing the light on that end of the block. Finally, around the corner, an elderly neighbor either passed away or moved to a care facility. Her house is now being rapidly overhauled as the owners prepare to sell. One morning, all of the overgrown shrubs in her front hard were yanked. The next, a new roof went on. It’s amazing how quickly these things can be done with enough people and the right equipment.
I think about that last neighbor often as I walk by her house now in the mornings. I think of her yard and how much she must have loved it – at least that’s how it appeared. I often saw her out front, reading a paper with her tropical bird in a cage beside her on the driveway. Or I’d see her cutting the lawn with an old, under-powered mower, raking the leaves in fall, or carefully tilling the soil around her hydrangeas. Now, her plants are blooming – it was the spirea this week – and she’s not there to see them. It makes me sad. I wonder, does the garden miss her? Do the plants know?
Down the road, another gardener’s house is up for sale – a gardener who plants dahlias in profusion every spring, a gardener who always fills a sizable garden cart in the front yard with colorful annuals. Now she’s moving. I don’t think there will be dahlias this year…and that, too, makes me feel sad.
It reminds me that gardens – and gardeners – aren’t permanent things. This year, I’ll miss these things and people I’ve come to rely on as part of the summer landscape here. And, all of these changes have motivated me even more to enjoy neighborhood gardens (and gardeners!) while they are blooming, while they are here.
From the dining room, table, hoping I haven’t depressed you too much with today’s musings…
P.S. – The photos in this blog represent recent changes we’ve made to our own yard; new foxgloves out front, a new rock wall, a dead tree taken down, a bird bath in a new spot. It’s a good reminder that all change isn’t necessarily bad.