Watering The Weeds

atlanta freelance photographer
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Those of you who follow me on Instagram or who read this previous post of mine may already know about my 2017 adventures in gardening. Relying heavily on ill-advised gut instincts and Google searches, I’ve managed to design and build a garden full of summer veggies, petite blooms, and other miscellaneous flora despite the best efforts of the neighborhood rabbit to foil my plans.

Right now, everything’s in a major growth period. A few things are blooming, but most of the plants are simply biding their time, sipping up the nutrients from the soil and baking their leaves in the late spring sun trying to rest up for the magic that I hope will follow.

And it’s in this waiting period that things get uber frustrating for me. Because my garden mostly looks like this:

It’s patchy, and worse yet, I can’t tell the weeds from the plants. Despite many a Google image search for “savlia seedlings,” I’m still having a really tough time telling the difference between a baby plant and a garden pest. I don’t want to the weeds to take over and I really don’t want to spend my days watering and tending to what may end up being a bed full of weeds. I want the picture perfect garden of my imagination. I do not want to waste my time.

I recently found myself desperately picking and pulling at green nubs only to realize after unearthing them that they were indeed a real seedling that I put there on purpose, not a weed. It’s in this moment I tell myself I need to stop.

In trying to rid my garden of all that is bad, I also risk depleting it of good. In my quest for a perfect plot, I am also removing plants that have the potential to be beautiful.

And as gardens tend to do (or so I’ve been told), it teaches me another life lesson: life is filled with good and bad, and sometimes the bad needs to flourish so we can truly understand what the good looks like. It’s when we cut everything out, when we withdraw from relationships, when we over-mitigate risk, and when we overanalyze our circumstances that we miss out on the enormous potential that’s right there in front of us, just waiting to bloom.