“Add Water” why? How?
Today’s article brings spiritual upliftment from my garden. Because you don’t have to be a gardener to benefit from a certain secret of happiness.
Why I Never Thought “Add Water” this Summer
Not for my trees and shrubs, anyhow. Sometimes I’d water my flowers, when they got droopy. But mostly my yard has trees and shrubs. And who worries about them, right?
Admittedly, the weather was odd. However, weird weather has become the new normal, hasn’t it?
Around here how, exactly, was the weather around here odd this summer? (And early fall, too, come to think of it.) Buckets of rain poured from the sky. Granted, no visible buckets. But once it rained, the intensity seemed greater than usual.
Following that, no rain for days and days.
Eventually, I Realized, One of My Trees Was Screaming, “Add Water”
Josee, the Reblooming Lilac. That’s the name for this tree at Spring Hill Nursery, when I found her in the catalog and bought her.
Over the past five years, this gorgeous tree has been one of my garden favorites. Delivering pinkish lilacs, gorgeously fragrant! Producing such happiness any time you’d enter or leave my house.
Admittedly, my Josiee was never as gorgeous as in the catalog’s picture. Nonetheless, she was absolutely lovely.
And Josee did re-bloom as advertised. Once. That first year, any year. I didn’t mind. Her one blooming per year thrilled my soul.
By September, I noticed a clump of brown leaves and withering branches. Unheard of! And definite reason to “add water.” Maybe 20 minutes worth of watering. Sadly, this self-taught, slowly learning gardener thought that one, good & slow, 20-minute watering was plenty.
By October, I Had to Admit An Unpleasant Fact
Josee was dying. When we brought over Arborist Joe for our annual tree pruning party, he agreed. Josee had to go.
I’m still getting used to the sight of her… absent. For now, a big blank spot in the front yard — instead of the highlight. Coming back home and seeing my garden, I’ll do a sad double take. Because I love my trees, shrubs, and flowers.
More Gardening Aha!s Came Early November
Blog-Buddies, an article came my way, advising us to deep-water all our newish shrubs and trees. Get this done before the first frost. In this article, gardening expert Gladys characterized our recent weather as cycles of flooding and drought.
Aha, alternating flooding and drought! Not just sometimes “buckets of rain.” Why had I not put that pattern together?
And why had I expected my plants to know how to cope? Wasn’t I supposed to be their gardener?
Contritely I did as Gladys recommended. Deep-watering all the trees and plants around my house. Deep-watering every bush and tree for 1-2 hours each. Even using two different hoses, how long did that take me? Four different days.
In the Process, Gasp! I Noticed Something Unexpected
Something really sad, that’s what. You see, five years ago, my friend Tracy helped me to plant nine boxwoods. Brilliant, her idea about planting them. Even though I’m mostly a flower freak, a front yard like mine really benefits from having a set of nice, sensible, classy, green shrubs.
Only when I went to water them this year, as Gladys recommended, what did I find? Two of the boxwoods were all browned out in the center, happened to Josee, my lilac: Rotting at the core. Left way too thirsty for way too long!
Grieving, I trashed them.
Ever notice? You can’t dig a grave to bury a dead… plant. How ironic is that!
One of the boxwoods could be saved. I hope. Here’s a photo of how I cut back half of it.
Yes, as any optimist will tell you, half still remains. 🙂
Wishing for that bush to be more than half-remaining, I thought further. Particularly, I wound up thinking…
For Us Humans, What’s the Equivalent of “Add Water”?
Add love. Add a little extra kindness. Use a bit of our precious time for something even more precious: Giving other people an unexpected moment of caring.
- Offering a bit of small talk, plus a friendly smile. (And never a fake smile.)
- Or saying “Hi” to a stranger. (Or, in my neighborhood, with many Spanish-speaking immigrants, learning to say this: “Good morning.” Because that they can recognize. Contrasting with the blank stares when one says “Hi.”)
- With people in close relationships, keeping the ratio of complements : criticism at at least 3 : 1.
Maybe too, the love version of “Add water” might mean this: Trust in the other person’s goodness, even just a bit.
When talking to unfriendly neighbors or strangers, how about sprinkling in a little more love? Keep talking just a bit more, rather than pulling away.
How to “Add Love” Without Seeming Ridiculous
Some of you Blog-Buddies might have ideas, adding to what I’ve written. Please comment below. What you share could help others, for sure.
Also, please share any stories you have about relationships you took for granted. Just as I took my watering of big trees for granted. What did you learn?
Overall, I do think the trick adding love involves saying things. Or doing things. Rather than sending random people a random love vibe.
Because personal growth doesn’t just happen. Nor does spiritual awakening. If we want success help for all our relationships, what really matters. To avoid taking them for granted. Adding appropriate kinds and amounts of love.
How about Results from “Add Love” or “Add Water”?
Human results may be hard to track. (And you may know, I don’t recommend reading people’s auras off and on. Randomly adding “Technique Time” all day long.)
Plants, though? They’re very forgiving. Accordingly, good results can be obvious.
Like the bush pictured at the top of this post. One day after my depth watering, what happened?
For six years I had two nandina bushes, planted on opposite sides of my house. Both were supposed to produce berries each fall. Unfortunately, the berries always looked pretty pathetic: Sometimes waxy yellow. Other times, berries shriveled up almost completely, looking a little more like pale raisins.
Well, within 24 hours, for the first time ever, guess what? Both plants changed to a bit of “Add Water.” Just one depth watering and those berries turned a beautiful orange.