Back in 1988 the rock band Guns N’ Roses released a song that has lyrics that, as a then 14-year-old kid. meant very little.
I sit here on the stairs
‘Cause I’d rather be alone
If I can’t have you right now
I’ll wait, dear
Sometimes I get so tense
But I can’t speed up the time
But you know, love
There’s one more thing to consider
Needless to say that as an… erm… More mature person I have a whole new appreciation for this verse and it’s NOT the one alluded to in the song. As a gardener I know about the need for patience by the bucket-load. You may well want everything to work to your calendar but nature cares little for your wants or needs. She has her own plans and she will not be nudged by much!
Sure we can force plants to grow as we need them, but to do so means artificially recreating nature and it’s never the same as when she does it.
Said, woman, take it slow
And things will be just fine
You and I’ll just use a little patience
Said, sugar, take the time
‘Cause the lights are shining bright
You and I’ve got what it takes
To make it, We won’t fake it,
I’ll never break it
’cause I can’t take it
This is another verse that means something more to me than Axl Rose meant. We have to bend our own expectations around nature and not the other way around. Sometimes its a wet year and things don’t go to plan, other years are just perfect and your garden will shine.
Learning to have patience has not been an easy thing for me. I’m always one to try to rush through things… And no matter what I have done to rush things in my garden it’s never really worked. Even worse it’s usually gone tragically wrong and I have lost plants.
The winter of 2010 brought another lesson in patience. Here in the UK it was a late, long COLD winter and it decimated my garden, so much died it’s just not funny. But we are gardeners, we wait for better weather and start again… It’s who we are and it’s what we do. After that winter I dug out the dead, went to work on the soil and replanted anew. With that etch-a-sketch restart I had to wait for plants to mature and flower. That first year I didn’t get a show from my Lupins and foxgloves. My Jasmine didn’t do anything other than put on leaf (which was good!), and my roses that survived had to be retrained.
But here I am. It’s 2015 and my garden has never looked so good, my knowledge is broader and I have a better handle on waiting for things to happen. Not only that but I learned that you shouldn’t have only plants for summer. You need plants for the whole of the year.
All it takes is patience, just a little patience. (And some nice weather would help!)