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Breaking Garden (and Life) Rules

I regularly break the accepted rules of gardening. Rules like putting the tall plants in the back of the garden. But when something like a balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) or bee balm (Monarda) are shoved way to the back you lose something intimate that you gain when they’re right in your face. So my apologies to the garden rule enforcers. Surely you see my dilemma?

I was offering advice to a former coworker who wants to quite her job and travel the world with her husband, but she feels stuck in the job, stuck in the life she’s wrapped herself in, and is only looking at the reasons why she can’t just do it instead of finding the reasons to just go for it. I dropped my favorite pair of Latin phrases on her to reflect on: Memento Mori and Carpe Diem (Remember we all must die, and seize the day!).

Some rules are there for logical reasons; if the tall plants are up front you can’t see the shorter ones behind them. Makes sense. Some rules are there because we’ve all grown up believing stories: you have to get a job and work 50 weeks a year, then skip one of the two weeks of vacation and work on weekends to stay ahead. Who made that rule? Someone who wants to profit on your short productive years before they turn you to dust and plan you out for someone else.

Make your own rules. Rules like walking out in the middle of a work day and seeing how the flowers are doing, just because you feel like it. Putting yourself out there in the world, to meet it on your terms. And maybe find something of yourself that was hidden when it was shoved to the back by someone else’s rules.

Balloon Flower

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