Patience is a necessary life skill, especially worth developing for gardeners. As we work hand in hand with nature to create and maintain the garden of our dreams we know it will take time, perseverance and backbone. Apart from providing all the right elements as best we can, there is a point where we have to hand over to nature and the spark of life within the plants because they will grow all in their own particular way despite what we do. We can attempt to guess the weather and check soil conditions in our gardening, keep a keen eye on pests and diseases, but the rest is up to nature.

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them”

Liberty Hyde Bailey

Many hours have been spent lately trying to revive the garden from my last catastrophe. (see my last post) Patience and attention to detail have paid off, though, and the garden is beginning to return. With little opportunity to travel at present, we all seem to be spending so much time at home that does provide a wonderful opportunity to be in the garden more often. Usually, Summer is such a social time of year, and the tasks of cutting back overgrown foliage, weeding, deadheading and the like are often left until later in the season. This year, however, I’ve plenty of time to garden, the trick being, to be out early before the heat of the day takes hold. 

With more time in the garden, the rewards are numerous. Watching the fresh blooms unfold, the subtle and at times dramatic fragrance on the breeze and the healthy, glossy foliage to admire. Not to mention the vista you create in your surroundings, to sit in and enjoy with a good book or simply the pleasure in creating your own garden. It is gladdening to make headway and see improvement in the garden because for a while it was touch and go.

Paul Cezanne Rose

The passage of time has allowed the rhythm of working in the garden to take on a new and unique shape. Along the way, the particular qualities of each rose variety are becoming more noticeable. Some of my roses are now four seasons old and starting to look much more established, appearing to resemble what I was attracted to in the first place when I chose them from the rose grower’s website or catalogue. Again patience is the key.

Trust in nature to come through in the garden is needed too and is based on a bond of two separate energies with a fine line between them; the gardener and nature. They become one in the process of gardening, and together the garden evolves. The garden may end up being very different from what was initially planned, but if you go with it, as with any creative pursuit, you may be surprised by the extraordinary outcome.

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.”

Gertrude Jekyll

Just Joey with its abundant beautiful blooms has been the smash hit this summer. I came across this rose in the garden looking very bare and not doing very in January 2019 just before going overseas. I knew it would die if I left the rose in the garden whilst we were away with strong sun in the afternoon. I potted it up with good potting mix, although I didn’t have quite enough to fill the large square pot. As well the rose spent the winter safe from frost in a protected spot under a verandah. Since the onset of Spring, it has flowered profusely despite the small amount of soil and being left for so long. Remarkably, the rose has flourished, and I’ve enjoyed flush after flush of beautiful, ruffled blooms since early Spring, that continue now into Summer and early Autumn.

Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. ” 

Lindley Karstens

The most lasting and pure gladness comes to me from my gardens. ” 

Lillie Langtry

Just Joey is a stunning rose. It was bred in the UK in 1972 by Roger Pawsey and introduced into the UK by Cants of Colchester as ‘Just Joey.’ It is an orange, apricot, blend Hybrid Tea rose, although in our hot, dry climate is more deep yellow with orange inside the buds. The foliage is a leathery gloss, and the blooms are a ruffled style with wavy petals. Just Joey grows in a spreading, open style and has a sweet scent.

 “Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas.”

Elizabeth Murray

With a little work, lots of patience and trust in nature, our gardens can be anything we desire to create. It is a place to extend our living space outdoors, tame and soften a harsh environment, or add greenery to a city balcony. One thing for sure, though, any garden no matter how small provides enormous satisfaction and pleasure to those who are willing to get stuck in, hands in the dirt and give it a go.

No matter where you live, there is always a way of growing plants and enjoying a garden. Whether its vegetables, herbs, shrubs, trees, roses, succulents, perennials, grasses, bonsai, bromeliads, orchids, or tropical plants, the garden options are endless. Whatever garden you contemplate will provide various ways to use your imagination and develop perseverance and patience whilst engaging with nature in a meaningful and uplifting way. Enjoy!

All content and images Di Baker 2021 with the exception of the image below David Klein Unsplash

All rights reserved

Title quote by Liberty Hyde Bailey

The hum of Bees is the voice of the garden

Elizabeth Lawrence

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