Reflecting-My 100th Post

 By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. ~Confucius

It is Word 4 Wednesday (W4W) hosted by Donna@Garden Walk, Garden Talk.  The word for this month is Reflection.  And what a great word for my 100th post.  I usually blog once a week, on Mondays, during gardening season, but off season I will blog twice a week.  So it has taken 1 year and 4 months to get to this milestone.  In that time I have had many views and comments.  I tend to not take these counts too seriously after all what do they mean.  I am grateful folks read my blog and feel compelled to leave wonderful, thought provoking comments.

So what is reflection:  a fixing of the thoughts on something, careful consideration, meditation, contemplation and observation.

As I reflect on my path and my 100th post, I find my journey continues to move forward working toward peace, health, contentment and simplicity.  I have come a long way on this journey, but there are still a few blips in the road.  Surprisingly, anger seems to be one of these blips.  And as you may know, anger can be very toxic if left to grow.

I experience anger most when I have little patience (waiting in line, rude people and rude drivers).  It smolders, it festers and suddenly it becomes whiny, judging, blaming and resentment sets in.  Geesh.  How quickly it gets out of control.  I am good at keeping it under control these days letting little bother me as I once did.  But every once in a while, I find it creeps in and boom it is there in all its ugliness.

“He who angers you conquers you.” Elizabeth Kenny

So what to do but confront it…not easy because we usually project our anger outward.  If we just realize that we all experience anger, we can actually use it to help us.  As soon as I recognize it, I try not to assign blame to others (which is what we usually do-it is everyone else’s fault I am angry).  Instead I look at what is really going on, why it is happening, how can I get back under control, what can I do about the situation and then I let it go.  Why?  Because I have found I do not want to hold on to that anger too long even if it seems warranted.  It can suck you down to some pretty nasty places; places I choose not to go to anymore.

“Consider how much more you often suffer from your anger and grief, than from those very things for which you are angry and grieved.” ~Marcus Antonius

These days I would rather spend my time daydreaming and reflecting on the garden and my pond.  Especially my pond.  The pond is a wonderful place to reflect upon life.  I can lose myself watching the frogs, birds, dragonflies or any other critter that visits.  I am very good at daydreaming.  I remember as a child in school I would sit and stare out the window thinking of wonderful memories; playing, riding my bike, swimming and wading in the creek.  It seems water has always been a part of me, of my dreams…it is special to me and very healing.  So it was no surprise when I decided I wanted a pond in the garden I was planning 7 years ago.

Now as I go to the garden to wander, to visit, I am always drawn to the pond.  I sit on my rock beside the waterfall and survey the garden; survey my life.  Gazing into the deep pool is meditative and healing; it brings me peace even in times of anger or despair.  I can see the pond from many angles even when I am inside my house.  I especially focus on it during winter as I gaze through the snow coming down and see the pond wearing its blanket of white reflecting sparkles in the sunlight; frozen in time, suspended.

My pond, this special place in my garden, actually helps me focus on what needs doing many times.  So as I have been staring at it with the snow falling, melting, the cold winds blowing I am still contemplating and dreaming of my garden this year.  What will it look like?  What plants will be lost because of all the rain and snow melts causing flooding yet again.  Here are a few thoughts about this year. I hope to go into greater detail next week and in the weeks that follow.

…Some garden projects this year (just a list for now):

  1. removal of invasives; replacing with natives (big job so we will take it one section at a time)
  2. planting 2 native trees-Black Cherry and Crabapple
  3. planning of veg beds; indoors seed starting schedule
  4. removal of sod (at least a foot maybe 18 inches) along the front garden to widen the garden a bit more and separate it from the grass
  5. removal of sod near the back right rain garden so we can make the rain garden a bit bigger
  6. removal of invasive weeds from the meadow -especially teasel
  7. adding more native plants and seed to the meadow
  8. minor redesign of part of the front garden
  9. plans for the constantly flooded area in spring, fall and now winter-assess damage and replace with only moisture loving natives
  10. amend soil in various back gardens (white, tree, arbor, pond)
  11. try to get clean up started in March, and keep up the weeding before the hot weather sets in
  12. plan containers- start a lot of annuals from seed; need schedule of seed starting indoors of annuals

 

 

 

 

 

OK that should be plenty for now.  My husband who read this already is grumbling and saying what he will or won’t do this year.  He knows he will give in and help.  He always does because he is a great garden helper (albeit reluctant).  Of course many of these plans will get waylaid and others will take their place. It is all about what is most important in the moment; what I can get to once life takes over and the dreams stop–reality sets in once more.

 
 
 
 
Reflections looking back at me.
Images of what I must see.
 
Ripples of life,
Losing the scene.
 
Thoughts.  Considering what is to be.
 
 
Donna Donabella

 

 

Special Note: 

This week Scotts Miracle Gro and The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) announced a partnership.  Needless to say this has many folks up in arms and very confused.  Those of us who proudly garden for wildlife and display our Certified Wildlife Habitat signs (an NWF program) are now rethinking being associated with this program.  This is one of those times I find anger to be useful and productive because it has propelled me into a good place where I can speak out and let them know how angry their decision has made me.  As a result of NWF’s decision, their lack of any sensible explanation and the way they are handling their base of supporters, I have decided to severe my ties with NWF.  There are many other programs gardeners can get involved in, support and learn from.  One such program is Audubon At Home.   I plan to investigate this and other programs, and will post about them soon.

Here are the links to some great blog posts about this partnership and how gardeners are reacting.

National Wildlife Federation and Scotts Miracle Gro: Perfect Together?

National Wildlife Federation Teams up With Scotts Miracle Gro?

NWF and ScottsMiracle-Gro? No!

Should the Sign Come Down?

If you want NWF to know how you feel about all this please contact them.  Here are some of the ways to do that:

  • Post your thoughts on NWF’s facebook page (make sure you click the tab that says “Everyone” under the photo bar)
  • Tweet your message to NWF on twitter, including @NWF in your message
  • Call NWF:  1-800-822-9919 ; M-F 8 a.m to 8 p.m. EST
  • Leave a comment on their website
Lastly, I want to thank all of you for listening to my little rant.  The planet we all live on is very important to me and I am very passionate about keeping it clean, safe and going for many more years.

 

Next Up on the Blog:   Next Monday I will be highlighting the color blue.  Then on Wednesday, at the end of the month, I will be looking at my garden in review and setting the stage for the projects this year.  February will prove to be a busy month.  Lots to start prepping for in the garden especially seed starting.

 

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All content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

57 comments

  1. The Sage Butterfly says:

    There are some nice reflections here. Being human is sometimes a challenge, I find. I am not always sure what to do with all the emotions. Anger is the hardest. ..probably for most of us.

    Congratulations on your 100th post! It is always a joy to stop by.

  2. Donna says:

    I do love your images, especially the first one. It looks like a painting. And your poem, just wonderful. You are so talented with words and in your garden.

    I have to look into Scott’s association with the NWF. I get a Scott’s newsletter because of my business each month and got one the other day which I did not read. I must have missed this news by trashing the letter. It really is an unlikely pair, but at least it is not their Ortho line supporting wildlife.

    On a good note though, ScottsMiracle-Gro has been awarding grants for the development of community gardens and green space with a program to help cities and communities create more local greenscape. At least they are granting for cities to have needed greenspace. I am not condoning the association with NWF by any means, but it really is hard to fault them for this program. I really have to read up on this though and see what the requirements are for accepting the grant. Also, what it is that NWF is finding a reason to form the alliance. I am guessing it might be this program.

    • Donna says:

      Ah you have good eyes…the photo was put through an app that does make it into a painting…that poem came out of nowhere as I was doing the post…it happens like that.

      Thank you for the Scotts info. While Scotts is trying to clean up their act and is helping with some of these programs (which is wonderful), NWFs association is to reach a broader audience for their habitat and songbird programs while not endorsing the Scotts products. It is not possible to have it both ways since they are opposing messages (use chemicals/don’t use chemicals), and the message from NWF is very unclear…they have a PR nightmare and I have been dialoguing with NWF. This has only made me angrier so I have to walk away from them at this point.

      A better way to do this would have been for Scotts to endorse NWF without a formal partnership…better message but who am I just a lowly gardener with a “knee jerk reaction to all this” (NWFs words to us in quotes)…thx as always Donna for your kind comments and thoughts!

  3. Pam's English Garden says:

    Dear Donna, Such a wonderful ‘reflective’ posting. How I wish I had your way with words and a camera. I am extremely concerned about the NWF news, as I have been an active supporter for some years, including advocating for them in my ‘Gardening for Wildlife’ workshops. I need to investigate this. Thank you for the information. P. x

    • Donna says:

      Pam thank you for your wonderful comment. Thankfully NWF reconsidered their partnership. If you check out my latest post there is a surprise for you!!

  4. Heather says:

    Donna,
    I love your spring list. Very ambitious but some wonderful goals. Thanks too for summarizing the blog posts and bringing our attention to NWF issue.
    Heather

    • Donna says:

      Heather I am grateful NWF reconsidered. It is an ambitious list but I hope to get started on it a bit early if the weather cooperates

  5. HolleyGarden says:

    Your posts are always so serene, I can hardly imagine you ever getting mad! And gardens are such peaceful places, and a wonderful place to reflect, I bet there are not a lot of angry gardeners running around! I didn’t realize NWF had teamed up with Scott’s. It’s all about money these days, I guess. Anger channeled positively is very effective!

    • Donna says:

      I used to have quite a temper but not too bad anymore although there are a few things that will get me riled. I am just glad NWF reconsidered the partnership.

  6. Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    Congratulations on your 100th post Donna! There’s a lot of wisdom in this post. Yesterday I was very angry at the Scotts/NWF partnership, it still bothers me, but today I am less angry, as that anger is somewhat counterproductive. Neither of these groups defines who I am as a gardener, neither will they change what I do in my garden. NWF will lose my support, financially, although I still support some of what they do in practice, I do not support the mixed messages they send to consumers with this partnership. That is their cross to bear, not mine. For me I will continue to do what I’ve been doing. Gardening for wildlife, and for myself, with as little impact on the land as possible, and with the intent of sustaining all of the plant and animal populations here on the farm. I too would rather sit an reflect in my garden. I can lead by example. I don’t need NWF for that.

    • Donna says:

      Clare I was so buoyed by your comment. I was very angry and needed to channel it differently and your comment helped. I can continue to support wildlife and do what I do without NWF if necessary…just glad they reconsidered the partnership. I have many other projects to focus on…so glad you enjoyed the post.

    • Donna says:

      Cathy I am so surprised and delighted to have this award. And I am so glad you found the blog. I have enjoyed your blog so far. I hope to continue to visit you and you are welcome to visit the garden here anytime… 🙂

  7. Elaine says:

    Congratulations on your 100th post! I love water too and think it fits perfectly in the garden. The water lilies are beautiful. You have ambitious plans for the year. I’ve always wanted to start annuals from seed, can’t wait to see how it works out for you!

    • Donna says:

      Thx Elaine…started my snapdragons today. Not sure how this will go but I did grow quite a few different marigolds last year from seed…I love them in my veg garden.

  8. tina says:

    Congrats on your 100th post! I remember how excited I was when I finally reached that magic number. Since then it seems I mark the blog in years now and my how they pass quickly! Reflecting is something I do often due to the rate time is passing. This is a wonderful post for reflecting. I think your waterfall if awesome! I really like those big smooth boulders in a garden. Here all we have are flat sharp ones or sharp chunks of rock. I had no idea about NWF and am wondering why they would do that?? Not so smart at all. I think a list of your garden plans for the year is a great idea too!

    • Donna says:

      Thx Tina. I love your pond as well…so glad you enjoyed the post and here’s to many more years in the garden and with the blog.

  9. Janet/Plantaliscious says:

    Hi Donna, congrats on your 100th post, I love the way you write, you are always through-provoking, and always include something of yourself in your writing, which I think is a big part of its power. I too battle with anger, and its little sister frustration, and am trying to learn to confront the true roots of it rather than let it spill out and get destructively focused on others. Tough lessons.

    On another not, how incredibly shortsighted of NWF, and how very disappointing. Now that is a good reason to get angry.

    • Donna says:

      Janet thank you for visiting for the 100th post. I do so enjoy your visits. Your kind words mean a lot. Anger and frustration are some of the hardest lessons for sure. With the help of many gardeners NWF changed their minds. Some court problems for Scotts made them rethink the partnership and they are not going through with it…very good news.

    • Donna says:

      Oh Diana thank you for your comment. I think the pond has become my sanctuary. I am glad NWF is severing their ties with Scotts. As I explore a few of the programs I am mentioning this week like Audubon At Home, I will give more details…promise!

  10. Debbie/GardenofPossibilities says:

    Donna, Happy 100th post, that’s a great accomplishment. Your to-do list looks impressive and good fodder for future blog posts. I find mine expands quickly in the off-season and then gets trimmed back dramatically once the spring turns to summer turns to fall.

  11. PlantPostings says:

    Congratulations on your 100th! Everything is a little ahead of schedule this year. I’ll head back soon to see your 101st! I love the Confucius quote at the beginning!

  12. igardendaily says:

    Hi Donna! A great 100th post! I love that you picked such a noteworthy topic, reflection. I too love to reflect this time of year…about my garden, my experiences and life in general. I agree completely with your thoughts on anger and this has been helpful for me to read this week. Your project list looks pretty significant and I’m sure you’ll get the priority ones done. By the way, I see you noted the removal of sod in a couple of tasks and was just wondering if you are familiar with lasagna-style gardening. In this style, you do not have to do anything with sod, just cover it with the appropriate materials and plant. Let me know if you are not familiar with it and I can share more detail, all tho I have a feeling you are…

    • Donna says:

      Andrea, I have heard of lasagna gardening but love finding new resources. So glad you enjoyed my reflections. The sod is a bit in the front along the bed that once removed will be amended and planted. I am hoping to do a bit of lasagna gardening one of these days.

  13. Cyndy says:

    Hi Donna, Congrats on #100! Ponds are so rewarding, as your lovely photos show. The NWF affair is strange, but I suppose money’s at the root of it – the Audubon program sounds like a good alternative.

    • Donna says:

      Cyndy so glad you enjoyed the 100th post. It seems money is usually at the heart of these things. I am enjoying seeing your pond come to life as mine sleeps.

    • Donna says:

      Thx Julie…I would surmise post 200 would happen perhaps by spring next year if I keep up the posting pace that I have set this winter.

  14. Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens says:

    Donna, I am stunned/floored/outraged (is there a stronger word I should be using?) by the NMF-Scotts partnership. The only way I can see this as viable would be if Scotts agreed to phase out their line of toxic waste by a certain date with NWF’s help. Even without the chemicals, Scotts advocates LAWNS–the worst destroyer of wildlife habitat in our country. I have NWF’s ******* badge on my website and my habitat is certified. I hope you will do another post on this in a week with an update. If nothing has changed, then the badge is being deleted, the certification sign is coming down, and the checkbook is closing. What a way to welcome your 100th post!!!

    • Donna says:

      Thx for your support and outrage Carolyn. Thankfully they have severed ties. I am still wondering what will happen now and hope that NWF and others will help get education out there more about alternatives to lawns, chemicals and the like. Our Wild Ones chapter just had a presentation (I missed it being sick) that I have the info from about no mow lawns and alternative plants to use…for resale value I have to have some lawn in front and some in back but I keep chipping away at it.

  15. b-a-g says:

    Congratulations on your 100th post Donna. We may be lowly gardeners individually but together we are a force to be reckoned with.

    • Donna says:

      Thx and yes with the firestorm this partnership created showed that we gardeners are a force that could influence and help bring about change…we need a bit more change still though.

  16. lula says:

    What an important word to post about, I fell reflection is one essential activity, maybe even dayly as it is meditation. One of the photgraphy lines I work on is untiltled “reflections” and is about the “getting into” the spirit og things. I can understand how you must be about the “evil” partnership, I am too committed to conservationism and when you hear of such things just heppening, anger is the least you can feel, but there is lost of work to do and that requires sobriety, which needs to be developed. Congratulations on you 100th post!, Lula

  17. GirlSprout says:

    Congrats on your 100th post. Your plans for this year sound ambitious. Thanks for inspiring me to think a little more inwardly and also about the world around me.

  18. Anna Flowergardengirl says:

    Congratulations on your 100th post. I think choosing reflection is appropriate. In that process you can see how far you’ve come and who you have met along the way. You are popular and very respectful. I’m never disappointed when I come to visit.

    You’ve got a long list of to do projects and I hope you get them all completed. I have a similar list.

    I took the stance of supporting the NWF and got hammered over it. I supported them because their mission statement for that partnership was to be able to change the products to less toxic ingredients. They were going to educate Scotts. NWF has a long track record of doing things right. I said lets give them a chance to go forth with their mission. Southern Living’s Steve Bender supported this effort also.

    And just as they said they would—when the songbird lawsuit came out…..the severed the ties. They were true to their word.

    • Donna says:

      Anna so glad you enjoy the blog. Thx for your kind words. That list will certainly change but I will be happy to get started soon. I know you are probably already hard at work on your list.

      I did keep up with some of the comments at NWF and did some of your supporting comments. You know I am all for folks being able to speak their mind as long as they are not threatening folks. I saw some who commented on the page did turn a bit nasty and were very angry. As you may know, I was not happy with NWF and let both Scotts and NWF know what my issues were. I took the stance of asking questions and voicing concern. For me it was not about supporting or not supporting NWF as much as being completely confused by it all and needing some answers. I am a strong supporter of NWF and have been.

      And as you know I never condone bullying preferring folks have civil conversations discussing the issues which did not happen with some folks. I am hopeful NWF can get to their mission and that Scotts will follow through with what they wanted to change and call upon NWF and other organizations for help in making those changes.

  19. Jean says:

    Donna, I love the fact that your 100th post featured the kind of thoughtful reflection that is emblematic of your blog. I particularly appreciated the fact that you ended your reflections on anger by distinguishing productive anger from unproductive anger. This week, we had another example of anger being productive — the productively expressed anger of so many women at the Susan G. Komen foundation led to that group rethinking a controversial funding decision. Perhaps the anger of many gardeners who feel betrayed by NWF will have similarly productive results.

    • Donna says:

      Jean so glad you liked this post…I had my keyboard burning with all the emails, comments and petitions I was signing. This one is having far reaching effects for Komen…many are still not going to support them…I hope the NWF will make the better decisions for our planet…now if we could get Monsanto out of here and allow the farmers to farm…that is the next battle cry…so hard since this one is in the courts…I know I do not want anything that has been GMO’d.

  20. Aimee says:

    Donna! Congratulations on your 100th post! (I’m a bit behind, sorry!) That in itself is an accomplishment! How appropriate that the word up this time around was REFLECTION. Perfect timing for you.

    First off, I adore your pond. It is lovely, serene, and I can imagine being able to shed the layers of the day, the grocery list, the decisions to make, the mental stuff to sort through, and any feelings of anger or frustration.

    How wonderful that you are able to see things – and yourself – objectively. I think to recognize when you angry in the first place and to see that it only accomplishes something negative, already puts you a leg ahead of a lot of people. It’s really commendable that you are willing to take yourself at face value, love yourself, and work with yourself to make changes that will support your overall goals to live more simply and consciously in the world.

    I too have had issues with anger. Who hasn’t, in this world, with so many things to get upset about. I also find myself turning to Nature for solace, to settle down, to look for answers. Your pond is certainly a wonderful place for this and I’m glad you can see it even from your house!

    As for NSF / Scott – do you know the reason for the termination of their partnership? It’s because Scott was selling TOXIC bird seed. That’s right, chemically-treated bird seed, of all things. They were just fined 4.5 million dollars, and you can read more about it here: http://www.safelawns.org/blog/index.php/2012/01/amidst-wildlife-federation-firestorm-scotts-miracle-gro-fined-4-5-million-for-toxic-bird-seed-falsifying-records/.

    It’s a terrible thing, but on the flip side I’m glad that NWF has had to break off with them as a result…and I hope it will make them think twice again before ever considering partnering up with a company whose mission and methods are not in keeping with theirs.

    Happy reflecting!

    • Donna says:

      Thx Aimee….I did know the reason NWF broke their ties with Scotts but it was sad that they didn’t do a better job of knowing what Scotts was up to and had done…let’s hope they make better decisions…

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