Gardeners can become attached to their gardens in ways that are not always understood by the non-gardener. They have carefully selected their plants, lovingly placed them in the ground, nurtured them and watched them grow. Plants feed their bodies, feed their souls and allow a rather intimate relationship with the birds, butterflies and other wildlife that reside among them.
So when any severe weather phenomenon comes through and destroys what they have created, a gardener can feel a great sense of loss. And in some cases, severe weather may be enough to make plant hobbyists “throw in the trowel”. But for dedicated gardeners and nature lovers, acts of nature are all just taken in stride.
For some, it is the love of wildlife that motivates them. Even the sight of broken trees and damaged plants are quickly forgotten when they see butterflies and hummingbirds feeding on the plants that are still standing.
For others, gardening is a hobby that is just in their blood.
“It’s almost like our gardens were the victim of a violent crime,” my friend Kathy once said when walking through her garden after a violent storm. ”Except you can't catch Mother Nature and put her in jail. You have to be philosophic – even if you don't feel like being philosophic. Gardening and collecting plants is our passion and will always be a part of our lives.
While listening to the stories of fellow gardeners this week, one trait always seemed to shine through. In the midst of all the work and the cleanup, they were all still delighted when they uncovered hidden new growth. And they all still took time to stop and smell the flowers.
Well into another day of cleanup, Maryland resident Barry Louis Polisar summed up a true gardener’s feelings pretty well when he said: “It’s just the price we pay for living in Paradise.”
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your photo, Barry. (You can see lots more of Barry’s photos, as well as learn about his great musical endeavors, on his Facebook page).