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Lawn and Garden

Gaining Perspective

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07/01/2010 - We certainly seem to be getting a lot more sun around Casper now. A month ago I wasn't sure if summer was ever going to come, but now we have seen a lot of hot, sunny days. I hope things are going well in your gardens, and that whatever you are growing is thriving.

Most of the time when I start to think about writing this article, I try to think of things that I can tell you that will help you to grow better plants. This month I thought that I would tell you about some of the things that, in recent times, I have forgotten to notice about how plants have helped me grow.

A while back someone very close to me let me know in not so many words that I was spending all my time running toward the future, and not enough time enjoying today. At first I resisted those words, but after they got loud enough I began to look at things a little differently. To my surprise I found out that what she was saying was exactly right. As I began to slow down a little I started to notice things that I had forgotten, not only in the greenhouse, but throughout my life. Since this is a gardening article lets stick to the greenhouse and plants.

One calm morning in June as I arrived at work I began going through my normal routine of loading a truck to take plants into town. Most mornings like this I would only be thinking of two things, getting the truck loaded, and making sure that all the requests for plants from the day before made it onto the truck. On this particular day as I was walking past house number seven, I noticed a scent that I can only describe as a mix of honey and fresh rain. It was slightly sweet and exceedingly fresh. Trying to describe it on paper is like trying to explain the grand canyon to someone without pictures. It is hard to do it justice.

On that day I just figured it was the fresh morning air coming into the greenhouses, so I continued on to look for the plants I needed for that day. The following morning was another uncommonly calm one, and as I hurried into the doorway of house number seven to find the plants I needed, I was overtaken by that wonderful scent again. Now don't get me wrong, I am not prone to go looking for nice scents, and I do not spend my days sniffing the flowers we produce. But this smell is not one you run across every day. I enjoyed it for a few seconds, and then went on about my business.

On the third day it was calm again, and again seven smelled like what I imagine Heaven smells like. This time I decided that it couldn't possibly be just fresh air from outside filtering into the greenhouses, it had to be one of the plants in there. But what one was it? I checked the roses, it wasn't them. Then I checked the columbine, it wasn't them either. I noticed that there were an awful lot of flats of pansies and violas in that house, but pansies and violas don't have a smell, or do they? I stuck my face in a flat of them and took a big snort of air. I couldn't smell anything. At that point my instinct to get the truck loaded before I got fired took over, and I went back to work, but I kept thinking about it.

After a lot of thinking about it I still am not sure what plant was putting off that intoxicating smell, but I think I have a pretty good idea. I think that since the pansies and violas were in full bloom and there were so many of them in that house, that when we closed up at night their aroma would begin to build. Since the night air was very still it would build through the night, and by the time we arrived back at work it had built up enough that it was noticeable. I never would have thought that pansies and violas could make a scent like that. If I wouldn't have taken a few minutes to think about it, I still wouldn't.

I am telling you this story because in today's world of work, kids, play, and constant busyness, many times we forget the benefits of taking five minutes to stop and enjoy some of the more peaceful and serene moments life presents us with. Landscapes and gardens present us with many opportunities to do this. If the only benefit you are getting from your yard is making the neighbors envious, then you are missing a big portion of what those plants can give back to you. So if you like what I have written about today, and you want to see what kind of difference a little serenity can make in your life, put the kids to bed early, go outside, sit down, be quiet, and see what your plants can tell you. Taking the time to gain a little perspective even if it is just five minutes a day has made a huge difference in the way I look at life, and reminded me of the importance of things long forgotten. Hopefully you will take the time to see what your else your plants can do for you.

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