. . . How to Garden Wiser as You Grow Older by Sydney Eddison
A few weeks ago, during a storm, a tree fell on our roof. Fortunately, no one was injured, the tree didn’t come through the roof or cause any structural damage, no glass was broken, no car totaled. Removal estimates were obtained, then a tree removal crew came out and expertly removed the tree, chipped a good part of it, stacked the logs we wanted to keep, and cleaned off the driveway.
What was left was the base of the tree, waiting for some sort of honor, and a gap in the scenery to be filled.
I mourn the loss of trees. Even though I know that in some cases it is for the best, and for others, like our tree, nature has taken its course. I know, too, that the best thing to do is to move on. We’ve all experienced this, especially after the stormy season that seems to be all over the globe. Some trees and other vegetation and gardening is lost to storms, others are lost when the house next door is razed for a “MacMansion”. A tree is gone or a larger structure is built, taking away your sunny perennial bed.
There also comes in the course of a life the time when one begins to ponder how much longer the garden can be tended; aches and pains are where they didn’t used to be, knees don’t work like they used to, or the cost of keeping a garden is no longer practical on a fixed income or during an economic downturn.
Right about the time the tree fell, my vision had cleared enough so that I was able to start reading again. Ah, sweet bliss! I rummaged through that big pile of books I brought home one Saturday after an orgy of book buying. The local Border’s had begun their going-out-of-business sale and I just couldn’t resist.
There on the pile, waiting for me, was Sydney Eddison’s book, Gardening for a Lifetime.
What a wonderful little treasure this book is, with chapters on topics such as A Step Toward Simplicity: Substituting Shrubs for Perennials and Pick Your Battles: Manage Mature Plants, with each chapter summed up at the end with “Gleanings”. While the book is aimed at practical ideas for the gardener in later years, it is a wonderful reference book for all sorts of gardening abilities and lifestyles.
Sydney Eddison’s wealth of gardening knowledge and joyful spirit of life come through on each page of this book. Lifelong gardeners are practical dreamers. They see yet another plant to slip into the soil or another border to dig, but, they have worked too hard on their hands and knees with dirt under their fingernails from March to November not to be practical in their dreaming. This comes through as clear as can be in Eddison’s book.
Gardening for a Lifetime came into my garden at just the right time.
Serendipity came to call at my doorstep again.
Now, to figure out what to do next.