Sure, it may not look beautiful from across the street. The roses are overgrown and the birdseed has sprouted into a massive bamboo-like stand which towers overhead. The tangle of purple vines and gnarled trunk of grapes is out of control and now engulfs the rickety bench below.
The Contorted Mulberry is just so. The neglected Peach tree, a cutting from a departed friend, is still struggling to overcome adversity. Behind the hedgerow of unkempt Boxwood...(more like "Out-the-box Wood"), the Bay tree I bought at a yard sale years ago still offers leaves for my stew.
After splitting and losing a limb, the Mesquite hybrid planted by Mrs. Turner still stands and gives us shade. She would not be so proud to look down from the clouds and see its un-pruned canopy. She would, however, be proud in the fact that it still stands after all the neighbors told her not to plant it in the first place.
Now, I wonder…can there be too much passion in the garden? Well, when it comes to the Passionflower vine which migrated under the block wall to escape the neighbor’s hired help, yes…yes, I think there may be a bit too much passion back there. In fact, it has climbed the telephone wires and is trying to overtake the Mesquite. Now, it peers over the wall at Ms. Pat’s barren yard and sticks its tendrilly tongue out at her. I’m sure she is not amused.
Here, in this horticultural mess, I find peace. I can get lost and hide away in the dark, hidden nooks of my jungle. It may not look great from afar, but when I am hidden amongst the blanket of leaves, sheltered by the outstretched arms of beauty gone wild and free, I feel safe.
Sometimes if I think too much, I feel sad to see that I have not mothered my garden well. But, perhaps in her unwavering tenacity, she has mothered me.