Jim’s Garden

There is so much going on in Jim’s garden, it is impossible to show it all in any photo – or even a series of them. There is color, texture and inspiration around every turn. The treasure hunt continues around each turn – with exotic and familiar plants hidden behind corners, big brushey grasses and long graceful stems. You could lose yourself for hours inside those garden gates just exploring the new, the old, the forgotten and the hidden. But with each turn, you find something so complex and unexpected, you stand wondering why and how it all fits together to paint such a Disneyland wonderworld of gardens.

I wandered around his garden yesterday afternoon staring at all its complexities with the wonder of someone who was taking in the Sistine Chapel or the Mona Lisa. I was completely in awe at every single piece of it – every brush stroke and every color contrast. Lime green strings twisted around ruby reds bulbs, lavenders spears and laid around a salmon background in ways you simply don’t expect to work together. And what baffled me more was how it all was thriving through our recent cold snap we have experienced. Where were the choking ivy vines, the wilting tomato plants and the leggy rose bushes with their shriveled blooms?

I told him I was equal parts overwhelmed, depressed and inspired by his amazing work. The small man hours it takes me to plant bulbs on a Sunday afternoon is more time than I seem to be able to spare all week. And then, like any true artist, he smiled knowingly and told me to get out there and just try. And be inspired.

As I drove away with a rainbow of color in my rear view mirror, I realized something truly simple: the meaning behind any endeavor is to keep trying until you find your own solution to the tasks you are facing…not someone else’s. You will make mistakes. You will skin your knee. You will fall. But the thing to do is to keep trying until you find your own answers to the problems that plague you. Because then, you have stumbled upon the right answer for yourself. It might not be the right answer for a Master Gardener or Painter – but it is your answer…no matter how simple or complex.

So for now, I am going to conquer some ivy and a few overgrown bushes. If you need me, you can find me in the back garden. I’ll be the one with the pruners.

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