We took out almost all our St Augustine grass this past year and moved that territory into various garden beds. Friends of mine who have heard me go on endlessly about the work involved have offered to come by and check out our progress.
"Not this year" I tell them. "Things are just getting established. Come next year and then I'll look like a genius. Right now I think people are driving by and whispering 'do you think they know their grass is dead?!".
Truth be told I hate waiting. This is making me nutso. I already spent weeks going around my back yard imploring things to grow. Faster! Then, to bloom.
This is not so much "talking" to my plants, although I do a bit of that from time to time, it is more like a regal command, which is every bit as nonsensical as it sounds.
It is my patience that is the sticking point, and not anything the plants are doing or not doing. The wild flowers in our back yard were planted very late because their beds were not ready when the seeds ordinarily would have been. This late start is certainly not theirs to lay claim to and it was not reasonable of me to think that they could skip steps in their growth and bloom along with the rest of the flowers that had been seeds in the ground, over wintering and getting ready for a "normal" season. Which is why I take photographs (besides the sheer fun of stopping and looking so closely). When I look back at the photographs of what the garden beds USED to look like, I am much better able to appreciate how very far they have come.
Garden beds are a lot like kids. You think those children of yours will never EVER learn to...tie their shoes, cut up their food, appreciate practicing the piano, get over going mute around other grown ups...you name it. Then before you know it, they are calling you to offer advice, correcting your own gaps in information, and holding out your chair in restaurants. Once the garden beds fill in they will always be filled in. This stage, as frustrating as I might find it, is transient and won't occur again without enormous effort on my part or some sort of a freak killing frost. So maybe, just maybe, I can slow down, look closely, and ENJOY this time of gradual expansion, rather than fretting over the varieties of plants that naturally establish themselves earliest. Most of these are plants which people consider weeds, but in permaculture there is no such thing as a "weed". There are plants that naturally take advantage of disturbed soil, but they will be eventually replaced by a well balanced culture of vegetables mixed with fruits, herbs and flowers, all beneficial to the soil and local fauna.
And to the local gardeners.
I love my children. I would not ever try to take them back in time. Along the way I hope I appreciated the stages in their lives and was not always in a hurry to get them to do that "next thing".
I enjoy my garden immensely. I will try to appreciate the stage it is going through now, and not only be in a rush to see how it will look "next season".We have come such a long way together, already.