Another of my life's paradoxes

"Disneyland" rose

The weather has finally cooled enough for me to venture back out into the garden in earnest and do the necessary trimming and cleanup after a long hot summer. Without a lawn to mow, I can let things go for a couple of months.

As I was pruning things, I had to shape up the rosebushes from offending branches that would compromise the form of the bushes. Some of those branches had blossoms on them but they still had to go. Since I had floral design class the next day, I just put those branches in a bucket of water and toted them to my class to use the flowers and buds in the hair wreathes we were making. It ended up that I used almost all of my foliage and flowers for that exercise and it was very rewarding.

Here's the funny thing... if I bring flowers or foliage from home I often get one or two comments from classmates about how spectacular my gardens must be. I guess they see my perfectionist tendencies as I do floral arranging and assume it must be multiplied times a gazillion in my gardens. But that couldn't be farther from the truth.

In the garden, I let things get quite shaggy before I give it a "haircut" so the critters in my "backyard wildlife habitat" have places to hide and nest. I rarely "dead-head" my roses in the summer so they are more drought-tolerant. I don't clean up fallen leaves because I like them as natural mulch. In other words, I let things be very natural. Having it that way makes me feel contented and happy.

I only wield my perfectionist control once I get into floral design class or back in my studio with a photograph or piece of artwork. I think that surprises a lot of people when they come and visit Rosehaven Cottage. But my philosophy is that nature really can't be controlled. As long as something is growing, I can't really control it. I can only be a good steward over it. So instead of trying to control, I try to have a symbiotic relationship with the things that are growing in my garden and let them fulfill the measure of their creation under my stewardship. I think that's why it makes me contented and happy.

"Disneyland" rose (with texture and PS action)
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  1. Cindy, that color combination in the first photograph is simply spectacular. I love that shot. My mom has similar misconceptions about my rose garden when I bring her a bouquet. I tell her that with as many roses bushes as I have, there better be enough for a bouquet!

  2. I especially let the flowers go dead and dry and the leaves lie where they are this time of year b/c it looks more like fall--more Halloweeny. I do like to deadhead the roses during the summer, though, so that I get more blooms. Beautiful photo!

  3. HA! I've found your blog and rosehavencottage is now an official LINK on my blog! I can't believe I never found you guys on here before!

  4. The first photo is perfect. Really stunning.

  5. I am saying this very tongue in cheek, I am totally into the natural look myself. Especially after July. The heat just gets to me, and yes all those perennials that desperately require deadheading are there for the birds.

    Besides, I am collecting seeds. LOL.


  6. Cindy, I really enjoyed your post about your natural garden. You know that is one of the reasons I love your gardens. I love the natural cycle of things. And, know what?... I rarely dead-head.
    Love you,

  7. I think we all have paradoxes in out lives. I am a stickler about the living room having NO junk laying around...but my bedroom is full of pile of the unfinished and unorganized. Control is all fine and dandy someplace, but you have to just let some things be and be okay with it :) It's normal! (I hope it's normal anyway :)

  8. Hmmm, I'm sure there are many parallels to life that could be made here.


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