Thursday, July 24, 2008

Time in a Bottle by KCB

KCB is a professional gardener and friend who does wonderful work in the Greater Portland area. KCB is also an accredited Master Gardener by the Cooperative Extension Service and we are honored to have KCB as part of our Skillin's Garden Log family.

Sands through an hour glass, the shadows on a sundial, the toll of a
distant church bell all measure time. Even the passing of blooms, changing of foliage all let us know that marches on. Some say that time stands still. Yet when gardening, time simply ceases to exist.

Once upon a time, before I became a ‘professional’ a time when I had my own house and garden, it would take me as much as 40 minutes to span the miniscule walkway from driveway to doorway before entering the house. My husband would refer to it as the ‘garden trance’.

I was en-tranced by my garden, scouring the area with my eyes to spy the emergence of a perennial, a self-sowed annual, dreaded weeds, and ultimately, pesky pests. If I should stop to pull one weed, pinch one spent bloom then all bets were off. There is no such thing as pulling one weed or deadheading one of anything.

Today I was suppose to meet one of my assistants at 10:30, first I planned to spend an hour, the most 2 at another garden in my care. 10:45 she calls. Where did nearly 3 hours go? This season I even missed a hair appointment as a couple of hours turned into 6 without much effort. Time is something I really should be more cognizant of. For me time is money and money is time. You can’t lose something you don’t own, so I do not loose time. What I do lose is money. Something I really should work on, when I can find the time.

Many of my clients are former gardeners who are not able to keep up with the regular maintenance due to lack of their own time, energy, or a combination of both. As part of my interview process, I ask how much time they would spend tending to their beds. ‘Oh, not long, an hour or 2, sometimes more, a day…….’ Not a direct quote nevertheless the message is the same. Relationships take time. We have relationships with our gardens. 14 hours a week may be excessive for just weed pulling or bloom cutting. True gardeners know there is much more to the task than pulling a weed or 2. Sometimes we aren’t really” working” at all--just standing back and taking it all in. The latter is certainly time well spent.

Soon we will be entering the time for my favorite blooms as displayed in the late summer garden. More on this topic when I have time………

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