I read this and it brought tears to my eyes as you told exactly why you garden. I feel the same way and have obsessed about the mess at times. Last spring I hired a helper to work with me getting the front beds under control and mulched with newspaper underneath for extra weed control. Unfortunately (for me), before we could start on the back, he got a "real" job and was working 60+ hrs a week. I knew he needed the money to support his family better, but I was back to square one. I managed to keep the front looking good, but the back is still a mess. It was so hot all summer I couldn't get out much to do anything but front bed maintenance.
I enjoyed my helper's company (same age as my youngest son) and he was happy to learn about the plants we were saving from weed engulfment. His enthusiasm rejuvenized me and my love for gardening.
This article reflects my feelings about gardening for ME. I do like beds to look nice, but it's not the end of the world if they are not perfect. Tulips are sprouting, hellebores are blooming and I know there is hope!
I belong to a garden club and at the beginning of every meeting, members take turns giving an inspirational piece. I gave a copy of this article the member who is doing next month's inspiration. She was thrilled to have it.
I want everyone to hear it and be as moved as I was.
I am moved beyond words that you would share my article with your gardening club. I hesitated to even submit it. I felt I was letting all my gardening skeletons out of the closet in a very public forum. I'm so pleased to know others could relate and were touched by it.
Oh I can so relate! I like to think that it is all the yucky weeds the previous owner left in the gardens along with some really nice things that is keeping me from reaching my full gardening potential. I have lasagna gardened some areas and that has helped. One area has been impossible, though. I no sooner get rid of one weed when a totally different one apparently has been waiting for its chance and really appreciates me making room for it to thrive. This garden has way more plants and bulbs than I would wish to relocate so that I could lasagna it. So along those lines, kmm44, has the newspaper mulching for weed control been worth the effort?