Gardening for Myself?

I complained to Lee that no one really looks at the garden. Her answer was accurate, “You do the garden for yourself, after all.” Yes, I do, but I also long to give it, and in this it is very much like poetry — that is, I would write poems whether anyone looked at them or not, but I hope someone will. ~May Sarton

I do so understand what May Sarton was saying here. I create for myself, whether in words, images or in the garden. And while it is first and foremost for me, I do want others to look at my creative works. We all do to some degree.

I want others to enjoy my creative endeavors because I am creating for them and for the sheer joy of the act of creating. I think gardening in general is done for us gardeners first. But it is also to create some curb appeal, and to create gardens galore for bees, other pollinators, birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. All manner of creatures, and yes also for Mother Earth herself to add to the general well being of the planet.

But selfishly I do create for myself as I choose what I love in colors that move me at the moment whether in my coloring book or garden. And currently my focus has been on the container garden that wraps around our rental townhouse. Some perennials, but mostly annuals bought as plants or started from seed for later cutting.

It is always joyful to have someone stop and tell me how much gladness my garden brings them. The colors, the flowers making them smile and adding a bit of magic to their day. I feel like my job is done as a creator when I hear these words of praise…for me the goal is always bringing joy to others and myself.

And on days where I am feeling a bit down or lost or disconnected, I know all I have to do is go out in the garden and pull some weeds, snip off spent flowers and cut some blooms for a vase. In those few minutes in nature, in my garden, I am immediately connected into the divine Universal energy. I am again filled with gratitude and gladness.

So here is what is happening in some of the container gardens…

In the front I am still trying to grow a couple of perennials in the large rectangular containers; a rose which is doing okay (although some pest continues to eat the leaves), and a hosta which should return. A little bacopa and a few coleus to round them out. Under the cloth are a few large sunflowers I will plant in another container out back and the rest are smaller cutting sunflowers. If I don’t cover the seedlings, the chipmunks will make a meal with the rabbits. Once they are big enough I can uncover them.

Lots of easy begonias for part shade on the porch.

Near the front door are more begonias, a double petunia, zinnia and angelonia for part shade.

I tried growing a clematis in this front container but they just don’t return. So instead, I am growing sweet peas and morning glories from seed. The pansies and violas are all repeaters.

And all are growing from a couple of pansies and violas from 2 yrs ago. I love the look.

Below the big round container above are a few sun lovers; zinnia, angelonia and verbena which I love for attracting butterflies. And some of these same flowers are in other containers above plus Calibrachoas, marigolds and more.

In back I have two Gerbera daisies and a cleome adding color. There are lots more flowers planted from seed I’ll show you in a month of so.

For a vase today I cut the native California poppies, three different lavenders and a wild nigella growing back from last year.

I hope once these poppies fade and set seed they will scatter among the rocks and come back next year.

The nigella and some calendula seeded themselves from annuals I planted a year or two ago in a container. They now grow between the rocks which is such a lovely surprise. I know I will be cutting them for future vases.

With this week’s lovely vase, I am linking in to the wonderful meme, In A Vase On Monday, at Rambling in the Garden.

All the pictures shared in this post were taken with my Nikon Coolpix or iPhone camera, and manipulated on my iPhone using the apps, Pixlr and Prisma. You can follow my progress with #the100dayproject in my Instagram and Facebook feed.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2023.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

22 Replies to “Gardening for Myself?”

  1. Loving what you show of your garden. My own has been sadly neglected for a while, but time spent in it always provides me with solace and heart balm.

    1. So glad you enjoyed a few views. As the season progresses I hope to get some long views. I agree neglected gardens can give us solace I think even more because they know what time we give is special. Besides they can take quite a bit of neglect more so than we can.

  2. Your garden looks great, wonderful color and texture. I think most creative endeavors are really about the creator’s joy and satisfaction in the process. As well, most people really don’t notice much of anything, I’ve discovered. Either they’re too much in their heads, or phones, or just aren’t that aware of their surroundings.

    My solace comes from what I provide for wildlife and the challenges of solving a design issue and appreciating what I’ve created. I’ve learned to care little about others’ interest–or lack thereof. 🙂

    Keep gardening. As you already know, it’s one of the best things for emotional, intellectual, and physical health. Don’t fret about the Philistines. 🙂

    1. Glad you enjoyed these sneak peeks. I also gave up the fretting as I agree I garden for the earth and myself first.

  3. Yes, I agree Donna, However much pleasure I get from the garden it is a real joy knowing it gives other people joy too. Your pots are looking so bright and cheerful and I am glad you are now finding material for cutting. It is good to know some favoured plants will self-seed and return for another year

    1. I think I am realizing that even in my small garden there is a treasure trove waiting to be plonked in a vase!

  4. I agree that gardening is best when the gardener focuses on what s/he wants to see, Donna. People who aren’t gardeners can rarely appreciate the effort and vision that went into creating them, even when they stop to offer a word or two of admiration. I’m notorious for making my friends walk through my garden while I point out its current highlights but rarely does anyone feel as strongly about the space as I do 😉

    1. So true Kris. Gardeners will appreciate it for the blood sweat and tears. Others for the lovely look of the flowers. But no one but ourselves know it as part of our souls.

  5. Your wording, like your plantings and flower arrangements and combinations are so artfully created, Donna. I found myself nodding to your descriptions throughout. Loveliness. 🙂

  6. I love container gardens and yours are looking good. The color combination of the vase is nice and what a great find and addition the nigella is. Your garden is rewarding your hard work.

  7. When I lived in the previous apartment, we were on the first floor. Some of my flowers seeded among the landscaping rocks. The lawn care folks always sprayed them to kill them out.

    Thank you for sharing all your beautiful creations!

  8. I couldn’t agree with you more about the creative process in gardening, Donna. I can’t imagine not being able to putter with plants in some way and while I garden for my well-being and peace of mind (therapy really), it is nice to share the fruits of our labor with others.

  9. I understand completely what you mean about gardening for yourself and yet wanting it to bring pleasure to others too. And your containers full of flowers really are lovely Donna. They must make passers-by smile, as well as you! Isn’t it great when flowers set themselves in spots they like best. I have Nigella and Californian poppies too, and some disappear while others pop up in different spots each year.

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