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Creating A Zen Garden May 13, 2015

Posted by nrhatch in Home & Garden, Humor, Mindfulness, Nature.

Ego’s appetite for accolades, approval, acclaim, acknowledgment, applause, admiration, etc., etc., etc., is insatiable.

The bigger it gets, the more often it asks to be fed.

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It is up to us to cut it down to size.

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Allowing the rest of the garden to emerge from shade to sunlight.

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TIP:  To remove tenacious roots, use a bulldozer.

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Once we evict overgrown and overblown tenants, we can replant.

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Mulching new blooms with care to prevent weeds from taking root.

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Buoyed by success, we expand our efforts to encompass other beds.

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Transforming a landscape of uncontrolled chaos into an oasis of peace.

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Aah . . . that’s better!



1. Kate @ Did That Just Happen? - May 13, 2015

Love it! Love taking real life and seeing the metaphor in it! And love bringing in a bulldozer for the tenacious roots! 🙂

nrhatch - May 13, 2015

Hi Kate! Gardening and nature metaphors are useful images for our own metamorphosis.

* Nature does not ask, “what do you want me to be?” Its glory lies in its authenticity.

* A flower just grows.

* And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud, was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~ Anais Nin

Hope you had a warm and wonderful Mother’s Day.

2. Jill Weatherholt - May 13, 2015

Aah…that is better, Nancy! It looks so nice. 🙂

nrhatch - May 13, 2015

Thanks, Jill. The garden next to the walkway still looks a bit like a kid after a crew cut . . . but it should expand to fill the space.

I’m enjoying our streamlined courtyard garden ~ we removed a couple plants and added river rock, pavers, grasses, and marigolds. The marigolds aren’t happy at the moment but the rest of the plantings took root.

3. L. Marie - May 13, 2015

First of all, you should be given your own talk show, because you’re awesome. Second, wow. What a transformation! Great landscaping physically and emotionally.

nrhatch - May 13, 2015

Thanks, Linda! A talk show would be great FUN on “chatty Cathy” days! Much better than running a landscape company in the middle of a Florida summer! 😎

4. Pix Under the Oaks - May 13, 2015

It looks so nice! Yay! “Let the sunshine in”… !

nrhatch - May 13, 2015

Sometimes small changes pay BIG dividends. Good morning!

5. NancyTex - May 13, 2015

Just the other day I was pondering the audacity of something I saw on Facebook. The individual not only made it clear that they felt entitled to something (they weren’t), but then added fuel to the fire by proceeding to shame, name-call and cajole those who hadn’t delivered. I was gobsmacked.

Bulldozer, indeed.

nrhatch - May 13, 2015

Thanks for weighing in, NT. I am often gobsmacked when scrolling around Facebook for any number of reasons, including those you’ve noted.

Some people will do anything to manipulate us ~ some use carrots (compliments, promises of future reciprocation, feigned admiration, etc.) and others use sticks to poke and prod us into doing their bidding. Fear, shame, guilt, and other bullying tactics can be quite effective at corralling the mindless masses.

It tends to have the opposite effect on me:

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”
~ Elizabeth Bennet, Pride & Prejudice, ch. 31

NancyTex - May 13, 2015

I guess I’m just really confused by how anyone could think that’s okay. Sigh.

nrhatch - May 13, 2015

Some people feel entitled to get what they want when they want it. No matter what. They are willing to lie, cheat, steal, and browbeat others to “win.” They are so focused on the desired destination that they are blind to all else.

To them, the end justifies ANY means.

Saddest of all . . . they don’t see that they’ve lost/sacrificed their integrity along the way.

6. anotherday2paradise - May 13, 2015

Yes, that’s definitely better, Nancy. 🙂

nrhatch - May 13, 2015

Thanks, Sylvia. So glad you got good news about your Green Cards.

7. Ally Bean - May 13, 2015

I love transformations that put things into perspective while allowing for future growth. This applies to people as well as gardens! Sadly a bulldozer is only allowed when working with plants… and not with arrogant people. 😉

nrhatch - May 13, 2015

Thanks for that thought, Ally Bean ~> bulldozers are not allowed when dealing with prickly people!

8. Silver in the Barn - May 13, 2015

Excellent metaphor, Nancy. What was that tree, by the way? I often think about just how many lessons in life are available in the garden if we just pay attention.

nrhatch - May 13, 2015

I’m not sure, Barbara ~ ficus, schefflera, dieffenbachia all came to mind but I couldn’t find an image that matched that shaggy beast.

Nature nurtures . . . and whispers lessons to us.

9. Val Boyko - May 13, 2015

That is one huge ficus Nancy! I hear they can take over houses as well as yards.
It looks so serene now … and a peaceful welcome for visitors!

nrhatch - May 13, 2015

Thank you . . . my first thought was ficus but the only images I found were MUCH smaller than this big guy.

Overall, we’re happy with the changes but expect it will look “better” when the hibiscus gain a bit of height.

10. Grannymar - May 13, 2015

I know a garden that could do with some TLC, what are your rates like?

nrhatch - May 13, 2015

Room + Board + Plane Fare should cover it! 😎

I should warn you we’re “fair weather gardeners” . . . we don’t work in the rain, the snow, the sleet, or the heat.

Grannymar - May 14, 2015

That would mean every six and a half days off! 😦

nrhatch - May 14, 2015

Now you’re talking! :mrgreen:

11. Barb - May 13, 2015

I love the new look in your garden – much improved; sometimes we just have to take the bull by the horns so to speak (or in your case, the roots) lol!

nrhatch - May 14, 2015

Thanks, Barb! The HOA spearheaded the efforts up and down the street for gardens outside the courtyard gates. That inspired us to tidy up the courtyard plot.

12. Tiny - May 14, 2015

Looks beautiful and peaceful! Congratulations on your renewal work!

nrhatch - May 14, 2015

Thanks, Tiny. Mulch is magic under sunny summer skies in the Sunshine State. It helps lock in the moisture so we don’t have to water between showers.

13. uju - May 14, 2015

Looka beautifuuuuuulllll! Me love the metaphor

nrhatch - May 14, 2015

Thanks, uju! When I created greeting cards for friends, I did one for a mother-to-be with the saying, “You are the garden. Nurture yourself.” I presented it with bubble baths and herbal teas and lotions and potions.

14. Behind the Story - May 16, 2015

Wow! You’ve been busy. What’s the name of that first big tree? I love its leaves. Too bad it has to go. But we must be brutal in rooting out trees that have overgrown their space–sad but necessary. The hibiscus is already looking good. You can put a flower behind your ear each time you go out.

nrhatch - May 16, 2015

The big tree is/was a ficus (see Val’s comment @ #9) ~ we didn’t have any say in whether it should stay or go since it sat on our neighbor’s land threatening the foundation of their driveway.

We also didn’t have to do any of the work on that bed. Once the landscapers finished, the new hibiscus inspired us to spruce up our courtyard garden.

15. Three Well Beings - May 16, 2015

I really do enjoy the gardening metaphor and I enjoy a good gardening project! I do think it’s much easier to pull weeds and prune real garden greenery than it is to pull the weeds planted by ego, but we can do it one little patch at a time, can’t we! I like everything connected with a Zen garden…well tended and peaceful! 🙂

nrhatch - May 16, 2015

Yes! Once patch at a time . . . or, even, one weed at a time. A bucket is filled drop by drop.

The more mindful we are of Ego, the easier it is to weed out, pluck, and prune non-productive thoughts as they arise:

* Is it true?
* Is it helpful?
* Is it kind?
* Is it necessary?

In time, the constant ticker tape of thoughts running through our monkey minds slows down and we can see the sun. 😎

16. jannatwrites - July 5, 2015

I like how you compare downsizing a garden with downsizing ego… I like the end result (of both!)

nrhatch - July 6, 2015

Without Ego blocking the sun, we fear less and laugh more! Hope you have a brilliant day, Janna. 😎

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