Dear Members,

As we enter this winter, the holiday season and the new year, I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts and reflections on gardening and how it touches our lives.

Gardens and gardening are easy metaphors for life.  Take a moment to let in some lessons from the garden.

Gardens teach us to be in the moment.  A flower is fleeting and remembering to stop and appreciate it opens you to all the beauty in the now.

Gardens teach patience.   You know when you put in that four-inch perennial that it will sleep for a year and then creep for a year before it finally leaps out and fills the space you gave it (or dies). It takes patience to endure the bareness around it, not fill it for instant gratification.

Gardens teach us the beauty and the futility of making plans.  The garden in your mind will never be the garden that exists.  Surrender control.  Embrace chaos. And be surprised when things DO work out.

And, of course, gardens demonstrate the cycles, the seasons, life and death.  The garden can teach us profound psychological and spiritual lessons.  Whatever can happen to a garden can happen to a soul and psyche – too much water, too little water, bugs, heat, storm, flood, invasion, miracles, dying back, coming back, healing.  In the garden we can practice letting thoughts, ideas, preferences, desires, even love, both live and die.  You plant, you pull, you bury.  You save seeds, sow them, support them.

The garden is a meditation practice.  You can see the time for both fruition and dying back. You have the ability to infuse energy and strengthen life and to stand out of the way of what dies. In the garden, you are moving with, rather than against, the inhalations and exhalations of life.

Pay attention to the seasons.  Winter is the time to draw inward, to rest and nourish yourself, to mulch, to connect with family and community, to restore and recharge and prepare yourself for whatever is next.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyous Solstice! Happy New Year! 

Nancy Englund
President
Laguna Beach Garden Club