by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com
In the picture gallery below you will see images of the front garden at the time of moving into this rental house and then after a few years. The landscape of the front garden was ignored before we took over the lease and at first we continued to ignore it while adjusting to our move and while getting set up. The front bed had been seeded in grass yet it was hard to tell with weed that made it difficult to cut.
In the picture with the lawn it is visually barren and the house looks like it has been set down on the land without any foundation. In the other photos the eye is drawn to the garden versus the house and the visual message is that the house is grounded. The other difference is the two messages of scarcity and abundance.
Homes and landscaping tell a story of the occupants. Like the neighbours just down the road who park a camper and a boat on their front lawn. The yard is very well maintained yet the stories of these two front yards are different. That one tells a story of convenience with little connection to the plants growing in the garden. The amenities are kept up with the walkway and grass maintained however the garden plants and flowering shrubs are disappearing. As the couple age into retirement the story I tell myself is that it is a need for convenience to travel or for adventure whereas because mine is not for convenience. It is a focus of attention integrating into my whole lifestyle and a resource. For me, this reflects a relationship and engagement with ones lifestyle.
In the barren landscape of the house as we first moved in before it was our home, relationships with the neighbours reflected disconnection, scarcity, suspicion and judgement, As the ground was became richer with compost and love it so did relationships. They matured into a healthier observance as those judgments and criticisms turned into honest and value based conversations. The biggest difference in living experience has been the shift in privacy the little garden bed provides. Gone is the exposure. Previously the house and windows were exposed. Now it is not the first thing one sees. Just before this article I began to consider how to move forward with this bed for the coming seasons. This meant looking at what it reflected now and what how changes could be made to correct any influence. In doing so I noticed what is planted reflects virtues and values and that many focus on loving relationships which explains why one neighbour may be becoming too friendly. I may what to add some active representations of fire and air elements in plantings as this bed reflects relationships in the community and not that of an intimate nature. Stay tuned!
Homes and gardens have stories! What seeds do you plan to sow in the coming year? Read more on how this garden reflects the value qualities that I integrate using Nonviolent Communication.
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