Not making an attempt to be morbid, but I’ve been thinking recently in which my treasured old back garden gnomes land when I’m absent.
That is the premise of a website I did a few of decades back, following rescuing a handful of precious hand-painted backyard figurines from a trash dump in northern England, and rehoming them to my Mississippi garden. For whichever good reasons, the diminutive antiques, worn but obviously effectively-loved, had been not appreciated by whoever had inherited their backyard.
But what will materialize to them, and Granny’s concrete chicken and all my bottle trees, when I pass on to the Good Compost Heap?
Right before any person jumps to conclusions, I am nutritious and in shape, and not scheduling on going. Just having more mature, much more introspective, and inspired by COVID to consider my destiny, and that of a life time of gathered possessions.
Keep in thoughts that for numerous years I have endured the helpless stress of attempting to help distraught folks owning to dispose of groaning e book cabinets, overstuffed tool sheds, and really-customized garden beds left guiding by deceased cherished types. And the truth is, other than a couple of heirloom or useful instruments or worthwhile vegetation, no one really desires them.
This in thoughts, realizing that someday my developed small children will have to come to a decision what to do with my well-worn publications and significantly cluttered vegetation and collectable backyard artwork. Some of it is useful, but so highly tailor-made to my style it would acquire a wonder to find new residences for them.
So, comprehending that pretty few people today will really care about my fancies, and not wanting to load any person with a selfish “it will not be MY issue after I’m gone” technique, I am disciplining myself to be considerably less clingy, by starting to declutter. I’d relatively do it myself, cherishing memories as I go, than saddle many others with the chore.
And it has turned out to be a mentally and emotionally liberating system.
The fashionable phrase for this unburdening solution by organizing and giving away possessions ahead of anyone else has to do it, is a Swedish notion termed döstädning (dos-STAD-ning), which has the macabre translation of “death cleansing.”
It isn’t a unfortunate race to get rid of stuff it’s about obtaining a way to enhance the pleasures of residing a a lot more unhindered lifetime.
In my case, it is been straightforward sufficient to get rid of broken resources and other junk in my instrument lose, and purging out-of-date or no longer valuable books. But this is far much more than just a lengthy place-off cleaning up it has turned into a deliberate system for strengthening the good quality of my everyday living by downsizing and arranging what ever is left and nevertheless wanted or actively loved.
I have prolonged joked to back garden good friends (and alerted my spouse and children to this) that they really should just occur by and choose whichever they want, and place the rest in a Dumpster. I even have a list of what and wherever the most precious or uncommon collector-form crops are, and how to dig and go them successfully. Definitely.
But last 12 months I questioned my landscape architect pal Rick Griffin, who influenced and guided several of my celebrated backyard garden design characteristics, to aid me start decluttering my possess celebrated cottage backyard. Soon after streamlining and simplifying flowerbeds to improved showcase just my favorites, we enlarged flagstone and crushed slate places for additional folks room and fewer planting, mulching, and weeding.
And it appears to be like superior. And I truly feel better. Studying to just say no to new vegetation I can easily admire in other places, and allowing go of accrued stuff, has been therapeutic. Lifestyle enhancing.
Any one want to treatment for some perpetually-cheery 3rd-hand gnomes?
Felder Rushing is a Mississippi writer, columnist, and host of the “Gestalt Gardener” on MPB Think Radio. Email gardening questions to [email protected]