Morning coffee has to be my ultimate favorite routine. True, sometimes it should be called afternoon coffee or mid-afternoon coffee, or even a “five o’clock, I need a quad shot coffee, stat!” Every day, this routine provides me with an inkling of inspiration as to what projects I should tackle. Often, a moment of peace and a sense of direction, akin to a breath of fresh air. Even now, I have a coffee cup propped up precariously close to my laptop as I write from my hidden vantage point in the nursery. On a good day, coffee is accompanied by a quick stroll through the garden center. If I am lucky, I will get to witness some of the best gardening moments unseen.
One mid-morning, somewhat recently, I found myself watching the most amusing scene progress (while drinking my morning coffee, of course). From my perspective, it appeared that a tree was walking itself through the nursery, straight down the middle of the pathway. I watched the tree travel through the store, golden blooms dripping off of each branch. Each step the tree took caused the leaves to swing with a carefree ease that I envied. It was a sight to see and presented a striking similarity to a child holding a balloon. I had assumed that Sting, a fellow Garden Rebel, had decided to move the tree to show off the new blooms; however, I continued to watch from my perch as the tree was loaded onto a cart and walked its way right down the driveway.
As the journey progressed, it was revealed that a younger couple accompanied this particular tree. The tree appeared to be anxiously pulling them along, excited to find a new home. The three of them walked with such happiness it felt like I had just shared a private moment; it was as if they won the lottery. I was left with a pleasantly warm feeling as I progressed through the day, satisfied by both my mocha and the merry interaction I just witnessed.
I carried this moment with me as I continued my day. It came time for me to leave for work, and I loaded up into my car. As I pulled around the corner, I noticed that same tree sitting just two houses down. The young couple from earlier just happened to be our new neighbors who had come in looking to replace a tree that had fallen in the winter storm. They had just purchased the house and, upon settling in, had decided to start work on their yard. I found this moment inspiring. My fiance and I have been in an up and down house-hunting process for almost a year now with no luck. I have found that this process not unlike gardening itself. It is a search for the perfect mix of things you love and things that work for that location. Additionally, it requires an absurd amount of patience and persistence.
All of the houses, townhouses, condos and apartments we have looked at appear to match up with a variety of our needs. Yet, nothing has been quite perfect as we consistently have been out-bid, passed up and hard to finance. I have been disheartened through this process as my dreams for a big yard have dwindled as the market changed. My imagination has been pushed to the edge as I attempt to picture what a garden may look like with only a balcony, or even harder, with an all-concrete entryway and brick walls.
Yet, I have found that there is always space. A balcony provides a great space for a window box, concrete can house potted gardens, and my father can always find space for a hanging basket (not to mention the untapped potential for houseplants as well). If this year has taught me anything, it is that in all scenarios, house hunting, wedding planning, gardening, it is best to remain flexible. Take what you can and find a way to make it work, be inspired, and when in doubt, drink a lot of coffee.