Harmony Through Chaos

Beauty is being in harmony with what you are. ~Peter Nivio Zarlenga

Life is messy.  At times it is downright chaotic.  It seems out of control, much like my garden.  I feel like it is so hard to please people.  I am forever mediating things at work or with family.  It is difficult being in the middle, and of course a middle child (that’s me) likes to mediate.  We want harmony with and for everyone.  Can’t we all just work it out.  But you know sometimes we want control especially when things feel out of control.  So how do we get control and not hurt others or tick them off?

I am learning to control my little world.  It is the only thing I really can control most of the time.  I finally was able to find time to clean and organize my office and the stress magically drained away.  It was a wonderful feeling.  The room and my life at work felt in harmony

  1. agreement; accord; harmonious relations.
  2. a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts;congruity.
Then I came home and cleaned up all the seeds that had been strewn around from frantic planting on busy weekends.  I organized all my gardening papers, planted everything  that had been growing from seed and cleaned up.  It was great feeling, once again, like so much had been accomplished until I looked out into the garden especially the back gardens.  Ugghh!  The weeds have created such chaos in the garden.  It is hard to see many of the plants and flowers.  How did it get away from me again.  And as soon as I saw the chaos, I could not see anything else.  I lost that sense of  harmony.  What to do…how do I achieve that sense of balance again where there is order?
As I looked out at my meadow this weekend, it looked so peaceful and had such harmony of texture and color even with the weeds; even though to others it appeared chaotic, just a jumble of plants.  Looking at the way Mother Nature creates order with plants has shown me that what appears as chaos is in reality harmony; that pleasing arrangement of parts.  The lovely groupings of the blue lupines mixed in with white daisies just takes my breathe away.
And I remember that order does not have to mean neat piles and hospital corners (my mom was a nurse and we learned how to make a neat and orderly bed at an early age with hospital corners).  Even when people look at the jumble of piles in my spaces they think it is unorganized.  But my life, my garden and my spaces that seem out of harmony or messy, are in reality what I like to call, “a creative mess”.  I have my own sense of order.  Out of all the chaos I find my balance.  I can create harmony from the discord as I focus on one thing at a time.  Like weeding one area at a time.  Cleaning one space at a time.  It feels more tranquil knowing I will get to each in its own time.  Taking time to really look at what I am doing, where I am going.
And sometimes those very neat tidy piles can create more discord for me because they are not who I am.  My piles are never neat…never have been and never will be.  I live a harmonious life knowing my piles are a bit messy and skewed.  It is my comfort level.  Recently I have been trying to create harmony in my garden by making it more hospitable for wildlife.  Adding more native plants, removing invasive plants, going chemical free.  And all this has created a wonderful balance where the robins feel safe to nest in our front tree again.  More butterflies are visiting.  Birds are constantly in the garden with us raising their young, finding food.  It is this sense of harmony with the ecosystem that has brought peace to me in my jumble of weeds.  Knowing I will get to many of those weeds, but also knowing some are being used as shelter or a hiding place or even a home makes me realize harmony may not come in neat orderly piles but through the little or big messes that come our way through life.  We find our way through them striking the balance we need to find peace of mind.
I am linking in with Donna@Garden Walk, Garden Talk for her Word For Wednesday (W4W) meme.  The word this month was harmony.  I am a bit late with my post.  So stop over and check out all the wonderful bloggers and their take on harmony!

Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. ~Aldo Leopold


My blog was acting weird and wouldn’t let me post labels to pictures so here are the images you are seeing:

1.  Siberian iris about to bloom

2.  Maple seeds strewn about

3.  Late blooming parrot tulip with chives in bloom and lots of horsetail weeds

4.  A current picture of the meadow with amazing lupines

5.  A hosta at sunrise covered in dew

6.  Native hardy geranium

7.  One of the many water lilies exploding into bloom in the pond

8.  Native viburnum blooming like crazy


Don’t forget that June 1st marks the next installment of Seasonal Celebrations/Garden Lessons Learned.  Click the link to learn more.  Beth@PlantPostings will be wrapping up this past season with lessons we have learned in our gardens, and I will be setting the stage for next season’s celebrations (summer up N and Winter down S of the equator).  What do you love to do in the this upcoming season?  What holidays or rituals make it a wonderful season for you?  How does your garden grow and what favorite plants will be blooming?  I hope you will be joining us.  Just create a post and link in with both or one of us between June 1 and the 20th, and on the 20th we will reveal those lessons and celebrations.



Marie@Aim For Change: Musings of a 50+ y/o Triathlete nominated for this wonderful award.  Marie is my husband’s cousin and an amazing woman.  The award is for those blogs who have fewer than 200 followers.  And even though she knew I had more (not many more mind you) she still wanted to recognize my blog.  Didn’t I tell you she was amazing.  What an honor.  Thank you Marie!!



Next up on the blog:  June promises to be busy with lots growing in the flower and veg gardens.  There will be a Journal post next Monday and more Simply the Best as well as another Garden Book review.

I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme.  It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.

As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.

I hope you will join me for my posts, every other Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.  I had to trim back my time blogging so I am back to every other Tuesday.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

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 Replies to “Harmony Through Chaos”

  1. We are very much alike. I find that once I accept and embrace a personal quirk or a personal way of doing things, then I am so much happier. I have a very large area of our yard that we stopped mowing. I haven’t planted anything in the area yet. It is just wild. I’ll slowly start adding some native plants and I’m sure nature will add plants here and there. But the wildlife in the area likes the space so I’m good with that.

    1. It is so good to find kindred spirits. We did the same thing with our yard in the beginning. I just need a bit of rain to help loosen the soil to make the weeding go faster…

  2. Donna, I know we have commented before about how similar we are and when I read posts like this it just reiterates the sentiment. There are certain areas that need to be organized (in some chaotic fashion) before I can feel life is in harmony. Your approach to nature and gardening echos mine. I know all the wildlife in your garden thanks you everyday! Your wildflower meadow looks fabulous and I love that quote!

    1. Karin I really hope we meet each other some day soon…we are so similar and I am so glad you enjoyed the post. The meadow is outdoing itself this year and knowing the wildlife appreciates my messy garden is all I need.

  3. Harmony at times is tenuous in my home and garden. When I release the desire to control, I find that harmony is usually restored. I believe you’re right too that when things are a little messy the wildlife is happier. Hope you’re having a relaxing, harmonious holiday!

  4. I love your quotes, especially in this post, and found myself agreeing on so many of your points. I, too, prefer to clear one area at a time, letting the other things wait their turn. I, too, have piles develop while I’m waiting to get to that project. And I, too, find more harmony in nature every day. I loved your comment, “…the robins feel safe to nest in our front tree again.” Thank you for a beautiful post.

    1. Your comment made my day…thank you…how wonderful that you loved the post and that you could relate to so many points. Both the quotes certainly framed this post and really spoke to me too.

    1. Frances, the garden is finally coming into its own. Roses are still mostly in buds but clematis are blooming and iris are just starting. There are phlox, daylilies and echinacea that have yet to bloom…the meadow is certainly shining this year. And the lupines have really seeded themselves finally. It means a lot to hear you love my photos.

  5. Ah, Donna, that’s me also, piggy in the middle, older brother younger sister and a mother with alzheimer’s. Seems as I happen to live the closest to her its only natural that I have to deal with most of the stuff. Folk generally don’t like admitting that parents with dementia drive them nuts, love them as we may, tell the flipping truth. O my god I am treating you as if you were my shrink, never had one as yet but its getting close. Well anyway its not very fair that I should digress so, I loved your post and the pictures were uplifting. Oh and near to the end of your post the 1–to–8 of your plant images suggests to me you are still very tidy in the traditional manner

    1. Oh you make me laugh…that’s me order in disorder. I actually have a psychology degree which has helped me in many ways. My dad had alzheimer’s and I do know how hard it is on the family especially the family member who lives the closest. So I am happy that the post was uplifting for you! And you can digress all you want…

  6. I’ve never had much of an empathy with the word ‘harmony’ and this has put me off it for ever. It sounds oppressive!

    The maple seeds are wonderful. Absolutely beautiful.

    1. Oh Lucy I should have known you would notice those seeds…harmony I think can be a fallacy…too hard to achieve…but when we put too much pressure on ourselves I think it can be oppressive especially when we emphasize order and try to control things too much.

  7. Donna, I enjoyed this post, and found myself nodding in agreement at many parts of it. I’m also a middle-child mediator type, and I early learned the trick of creating an illusion of order in chaos by focusing on one thing at a time. (When I’ve moved houses, I always pick one room, get it completely in order, and then retreat there when I can’t stand the unpacking chaos a minute longer.) I especially loved the photos in this post — the siberian irises about to open (mine just started to bloom yesterday) and that wonderful hosta leaf. I’ve never been able to grow lupine — they just don’t like my conditions — so thanks for sharing that view of yours; just looking at it made me happy.

    1. Jean glad my lupines made you happy….and that you really enjoyed this post. It is interesting how many of us middle children find each other and share so much in common. I cannot get over how stunning the siberian iris are this year…bearded are just getting started and many have yet to bloom while others are done…it is all about those microclimates. Here’s to a wonderful blooming spring!!

  8. Harmony is ever so nice and I am glad you found some after cleaning your office. The garden sure seems to harmonize too as I see no weeds but lots of pretty colors. That hosta leaf is amazing.

  9. The parrot tulips and chives are gorgeous. Everything looks so lush and green. Sometimes, when I find I don’t know where to start, I take out the handy timer and set it for 15 minutes, move on to something else for the next 15 and then set the timer again for one more task. For the last 15 minutes of the hour I take a break. It’s amazing how many weeds I can pull in 15 minutes.

    1. I love this method of weeding…I will have to give it a try. That way I can focus on several areas in a short time….thx!

  10. Donna, I enjoy your water lily, I love them but mine are still small. The peace of mind is always near the pond.

    1. Thx Elaine..glad you enjoyed it…the hosta have been gorgeous despite the freezes of April…most came back without any casualty except for deer munching on them now..

  11. Oh, Donna, your meadow is so beautiful! The lupines and daisies together–wow. Mother Nature somehow manages harmony without getting tense about it, a lesson I could certainly use! For me there’s a difference between being IN control of something and being OUT of control. I don’t necessarily want to control a project or a plan (or certainly anyone else), but I can’t stand feeling like I’m powerless to affect things, or like control has been taken away from me. (Probably a youngest child problem!) I like your idea of having your own harmony — not uptight tidiness, but a level of balance that works for you.

    1. Stacy I am so glad you really enjoyed the meadow….it is most important to feel part of something instead of controlling it…I think we all feel that way…although the control issue comes out more when I feel powerless…Thx for such a thought provoking comment!

  12. Sometimes a little chaos brings more creativity.

    I hear you about always trying to please others, and feeling like you are mediating….and I am the oldest.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  13. And after all that, I forgot to say your garden is blooming beautiful, and I don’t see the weeds for the beauty of the flowers.


  14. Very well written narrative and beautiful photographs. I love the look of your garden. There is nothing more beautiful to me than a meadow. It’s hard sometimes to want to do tasks like weeding and not to have time for everything but I like all types of gardens. I call plants that I like volunteers instead of weeds because anything can be a weed if you don’t want it and anything can be a volunteer gift if you like the surprise that shows up. I’ve even had irises volunteer. Lilies are another one that I’ve had volunteer away from where I had planted them originally.

    1. Thx Carver and your point is so true…i accept those volunteers but the weeds in my garden are true invasive plants that need to be controlled a bit, but I am smarter now and know I will never control them completely 🙂 Those volunteers are definitely a gift that I love….

  15. Ah, the creative mess! That will be my excuse for all my piles. 🙂 I could never have an organized garden–I appreciate them, but it’s not my style either. Cute post, Donna!

  16. My goal is for everyone to live in harmony. Especially my family. Your gardens and flowers are gorgeous. You must really have the green thumb. Have a great day!

    1. How nice of you to say so Eileen…my green thumb sometimes gets out of hand though and produces more weeds than flowers!

  17. Actually I am the youngest of two, got an older sister but I always acted as the older one indeed… I wonder if that makes me the one in the middle! 🙂
    I like reading your musings about life because you analyze a problem and work to find a solution from inside yourself, most of people just complain about one problem thinking the solution should arrive from outside.
    I won’t comment on my messy house and weeds… 😉

    1. Alberto I have never quite looked at my posts like this but how wonderful of you to say so…I have always tried to solve my own problems and these lessons are what I love to share….it brings me such joy to know you like my musings. I can’t even look at the weeds outside and the dust inside 🙂

    1. I don’t think anyone ever called me wise Katarina…thank you! I am so pleased with the parrot tulip and hope they return…I have issues with tulips not coming back the next year…they do not quite like our climate.

  18. A lot to love in this post! The message is wonderful…harmony and chaos.

    The photos are breath-taking…the parrot tulips and water lilies are amazing!

    So, glad that you shared these with us 🙂

    1. Libby wow how kind of you to say so…so glad you loved it and glad it was appropriate for Nature Notes…I wasn’t sure it dealt with nature.

  19. I couldn’t get to your blog for a while…it kept taking me to google..glad to see it is back again. I can so relate to this post, but I am the oldest so I really like order…wonderful post for Nature Notes Donna..Michelle

  20. Hi Donna, i hope all is well now. I am eldest of 4 girls, with an 82yr-old mother living with us, and didn’t realize she is already old. So you should know i have the most control being the eldest, but if i dont get it, i am so upset. Our 2nd sister is also my problem as she is typical middle child. You are lucky you got that degree, you understand things better than most of us. And you are much luckier for having a garden as beautiful as that. I most especially love the photo of the Hosta with that light on it, marvelous!

    1. I think I love that photo too Andrea…it is not easy being the eldest especially the eldest of girls. I know my sister is the quiet one who craves order and is so strong in her resolve. We middle children can be a problem…we certainly don’t like to be bossed by our older sister 🙂

    1. Wow this comment made my night….to have it resonate in your soul is the best thing I could hear….thank you!

  21. An honest, clear, and beautiful post…yes I too believe in the value of some creative chaos and yet like you, I too feel better when there is some kind of organization at times….a balance, letting go of perfection and embracing life as it is, discovering contentment along the way.

Comments are closed.