The Spirit Garden – An examination of life through flowers and plants

When one tends a garden, one tends to contemplate life. It’s very simple. Sometimes this examination is purely on a physical level; i.e. the plants right in front of our face. Other times it’s a more of a philosophical nature, one that reaches beyond the border of our property, nurturing our senses towards self introspection, leading to the creation of a spiritual garden.

If nothing else, gardening has taught me much. Not just about myself, but many life lessons have been transferred from plants to this person.

When  one views the world as a garden, one is more apt to engage nature with all the senses, as well as the mind and heart. Simply by observing and engaging in what nature has to offer, people have the ability to grow, not unlike a garden.

  • Equate weeds to negativity and flowers to the good things in your life. Take some time and pull the weeds out or they’ll spread, choking out all the flowers you wish to flourish.
  • Equate flowers to human beings. A diverse garden with many types of plants is worth celebrating and exploring. Can anyone, gardener or not, imagine a plot consisting of only one type of flower? How utterly boring.
  • Equate your garden to where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. A garden never stays the same and like life, change is inevitable.
  • Some plants wither and die. Chuck ’em in the compost and move on. Sometimes nothing will keep them alive. That goes for some relationships, too. People are really like flowers and will add joy and happiness to your garden, and not take it away.
  •  Corporate gardens are easy to spot. Usually heavily manicured, clipped, and planted overnight with annuals for instant gratification, they reside in front of many a sterile muncipal-type building, appearing like oppressive backdrops touting perfection, which is not possible in reality. They lack creativity and offer little or no benefit to local wildlife or sustenance for pollinators. What does bloom is dead-headed, discarded, and never allowed to set seeds for next year. They devolve in to a barren environment for most of the year, and tall poppies need not apply.
  • Cutting back taller flowers will not make the smaller ones look better.
  • Stay connected to your roots. Many a plant in my garden can be traced to a memory, a friend, a family member who may no longer alive, or a beloved place I can no longer visit. Nurturing those plants keeps those memories alive!
  • Every plant has its season. Enjoy them as they bloom. Live in the moment, as does each plant. Know that when it has finished blooming for the time being, it will be back next year to enjoy all over again.
  • Spending time in nature is healing. Don’t just work in the garden. Take the time to sit and enjoy the effort you’ve put in to it.
  • A garden won’t grow without water. Sometimes in life it rains, but this is good for the garden, and the sun will shine again.
  • Some people will not like your garden. That’s okay! Each garden offers the personality of the gardener. If they were all the same, the world would be a very boring place indeed.
  • The power of contemplation originates in abandonment of self. For example, if I’m feeling down or dwelling on something, I go to the garden. My thoughts stop inserting themselves and my focus is on what’s in front of me instead of what was troubling me. Gardening really is like burying your troubles in the dirt!
  • Gardening is a living canvas. As an artist who could not paint for several years, I found another way to be creative by designing my garden, and others, which offered an alternative outlet to explore all kinds of ideas, colours, textures, all the while offering inspiration to get back to painting when the time was right!

Shall add to this as I go along!

Would love to hear your garden thoughts.

Thanks for visiting!

 

Butterflies flutter by… musings on these remarkable creatures

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore

“Metamorphosis has always been the greatest symbol of change for poets and artists. Imagine that you could be a caterpillar one moment and a butterfly the next.” ~ Louie Schwartzberg

And, one more quote to offer.. my personal favourite because as a child, I thought butterflies were floating flowers.

“Butterflies… flowers that fly and all but sing.” ~ Robert Frost

There have been times in my life where I’ve felt I may have been trapped in a cocoon.  Many of you may have felt like this, too. Some times this may have been self-imposed, and other times it may have been situations or circumstances beyond our control.

One thing I’ve learned to do during times like these is to call on the spirit of the butterfly.

They emerge from their original caterpillar state, through that cocoon and towards one glorious transformation! Maybe that’s why these creatures fascinate us so.

Perhaps it’s because we humans learn, grow and evolve as we go along, not unlike this marvelous creature. In any case, I feel all animals on this planet offer lessons to teach if we take the time to listen.

 

A door closing opens new paths. Reflecting with gratitude about life’s changes

This past January I closed my brick-and-mortar boutique.

Faced with the prospect of new landlords, lovely people, but inevitably suggesting rent/heat hikes, or the alternative, a quasi-colonization of my beloved shop, the decision to close the store was the only course of action this very independent minded person could make.

As the dust gradually settles, I feel much better about the situation! After all, people are in business to make money, and even though I’m certain the store could have remained open as long as the status quo remained intact, it wasn’t in the cards. Unfortunately I wasn’t in any position to aid the landlords in their goals, nor they in mine. Moving on, I wish them well!

The business of Wall Flower Studio sprung up at home, so it now scales back to its roots! This is an exciting prospect.

I’ll continue to offer my products through various online e-commerce sites, offer lessons in online marketing, helping and setting up social media sites for other small businesses, and have enough time and energy to focus on garden design, photography, this blog, and that bloody book I’ve been putting off writing for the past few years!

Except for our basement, currently looking like a contender for that show Hoarders, with everything now home from the shop, I’ve actually enjoyed sorting and organizing, de-cluttering, (planning that garage sale in May), and having time to cook proper meals for my wonderful husband, much to his delight and both of our amazement!

This time at home has been a period of reflection about the evolution of the business over the past four years.

Yes, there were ups and downs, small personal triumphs and many frustrations that at the time seemed cataclysmic, i.e. flooding, mountains of ice/caution tape in front of the shop, driving in snow storms, moving the physical location of the store, and even a car accident, to name but a few.

However, ninety-nine percent of it was the most rewarding activity of my life so far, and with that in mind, I’ll always look back with a full heart towards that store.

Lavender Harvest

Corporate-types won’t likely understand this, but to have had the opportunity to fully engage with one’s true entrepreneurial spirit, and believe me, Wall Flower Studio began on a threadbare shoestring, I feel enormous gratitude and pride to have taken the risk to open a retail storefront. I had the pleasure of meeting many like minds and pursued my passion, even within the context of a small enterprise, which is what many might have judged Wall Flower Studio to be.

I think that’s something to write home about, even if I’m the only one who reads it! 😉

Upon reflection and turning a new page, closing the store doesn’t suggest the failure that I first feared it would. The only way to fail is to never try in the first place. I’d like to celebrate by declaring this isn’t the end of Wall Flower Studio, it’s a new path!

With that in mind, a big thank you goes to family, friends, and each lovely customer who supported this former shopkeeper’s independent spirit on Minden’s Main Street! It truly was my pleasure.

– Karen