There is an ancient Silver Maple tree in our backyard. It stands above all the other trees on our block. Every spring it showers us with thousands of whirlybird seeds. I’ve been cleaning up these helicopters for months now. I’ve raked them out of the lawn and the flower beds. I’ve swept them off the driveway and the sidewalks and shooed them out of my house when they inadvertently found their way inside.
This morning, I found this solitary seed in the center of my concrete patio with no hope of finding the soil it would need to sprout. It struck me the number of these seeds that never have the opportunity to reach their potential–how many have been swept up and discarded, eaten by chipmunks, or uprooted as weeds when they were seedlings. The odds against a maple seed creating another mature tree seem astronomical.
Every year, without fail, that Silver Maple creates thousands more helicopters and releases them—each one carrying the potential to become a giant.
SEED: KEEP DREAMING, NO MATTER THE ODDS
I found this little lamium sprig growing underneath a matted thicket of grass in the flower bed behind my garage. This flower bed is the space I transfer the plants I just don’t know what to do with. It’s filled with the off-shoots of plants that needed splitting and odds-and-ends that just don’t fit into the plan right now—a nursery, of sorts, for my next landscaping project.
Because there is no design for the space, I let it grow absolutely wild. And it has. It is overrun with dandelion, grass, Creeping Charlie and some weed that’s as tall as I am. Poking out from the weed-blanket are small clumps of almost every flower I have planted elsewhere in the yard, that is, any plant that is strong enough to rise above the weeds.
Imagine my surprise while hacking away at the weed-forest, at seeing this lamium still growing under the surface. It is something I’d completely forgotten. I don’t even know how it survived being buried so deeply, with so little sunlight.
There was a time when this lamium had a purpose. It was to be groundcover for a different section of the backyard. At the time, it was too small and frail to fill the space, so I decided to wait until it grew bigger to transplant it. I loved this little flower with its pretty pink blossoms and heart-shaped leaves and I envisioned it growing into a beautiful thick blanket around our maple trees. As time went by, I forgot about it with all my other distractions and the weeds took over. It’s been growing here patiently, waiting for some sun.
Now that I’ve rediscovered it, I can’t wait to find a place for this lamium. It’s time to give this little guy room to shine and to thrive—to support this little flower that managed to hang on just under the surface for so many years.
WEED: BURYING THE DREAM
SEED: TIME TO SHINE!
The Beautiful Mask
This is a close-up of the Miss Kim lilac in our front yard. It’s carefully pruned into a topiary tree form. The plants in the foundation bed around it are groomed, the mulch is plentiful and weeds are nowhere to be seen. From the front, my yard looks like someone has got it together. This is the yard the world sees—strangers walk past all day, never knowing otherwise.
Behind the Mask
My back yard is a totally different story. Overgrown flower beds abound, weeds are everywhere and mulch is sparsely distributed. This is the part of my yard that I put on the backburner; the part that I put off again until “next year;” the part that, since no one but me sees it, I tend to neglect. This is the yard that few ever see–the select few people I trust with my disorganized, out-of-control side.
Putting It All Out There
My goal is to gain the courage to invite a group of people for a garden party—people I wouldn’t ordinarily choose to see the “mess.” I’d like to put myself out there—all sides of me: the good, the bad and the ugly. I’d like to have a great time and feel the confidence of “this is me…take it or leave it.”
I’m not feeling it yet…maybe next year…
WEED: HIDING TRUE SELF
SEEDS TO PLANT: CONFIDENCE, COURAGE & ACCEPTANCE