Allowance, in the garden.

I took a walk as long as I could this evening, in the hopes of shaking out the stress and tension of the work week, which still has yet to end. It's been raining all day here on the Coastside, and although my farmer brain is really happy - my retail brain is annoyed for a Saturday in December that was slow. As I walked south down Main street, I noticed rain drops were increasing, and scattered leaves were less tumbling-down-the-street and more piled in a clump in the gutter. I should take these home for my garden, I thought. Too lazy, I walked home to get cozy and warm up with some chai tea. As I passed my front yard (yeah, I'm old enough where I say front yard. And it feels good. More on that phrase in a later rant...) I saw the lower browning leaves of a swath of borage, and cringed a little. These look terrible, I thought as I passed the clipped boxwood and zoomed up my front steps. Immediately, I checked myself. 

Some tattered, dying leaves on an annual in the middle of winter, in fact doesn't look terrible. They look - like winter. 

Lemme back up. Back in July I had to dig all of my roses out, put them in gopher baskets and replant them. It's just about the worst thing you can do for roses at the most wrongest (that's a word, right?) time of year - but I needed to in order to not lose all of them to these god forsaken rodents. Upon my replanting, babying, fertilizing and cultivating, a whole host of annuals popped up around the roses. Borage, nasturtium, and cerinthe - all planted in previous years - sprouted like a dense carpet around the struggling roses. My instinct was to pull them out to allow for more space and better flower production, but I left them in order to protect the base of the roses. That was months ago, and meanwhile the wind and current rain has left the garden bedraggled and less than amazing looking. 

But such is winter. Gardens that look perfect year round are nonexistent - and if they do exist, I'm good. I don't think I want to know them. I like knowing gardens that are less controlled, less designed and placed with far less responsibility. I appreciate the seasonal nature of something wabi-sabi, something simple, something free. 

I'll leave the borage a little longer, then toss them to the chickens for a winter feast. 

(Image of lamb's ears by Orenda Randuch)