Not trying to be morbid, but I’ve been pondering recently in which my treasured previous garden gnomes land when I’m gone.
That is the premise of a weblog I did a pair of decades back, following rescuing a handful of cherished hand-painted garden collectible figurines from a trash dump in northern England, and rehoming them to my Mississippi backyard garden. For whichever factors, the diminutive antiques, worn but obviously very well-beloved, had been not appreciated by whoever had inherited their back garden.
But what will happen to them, and Granny’s concrete chicken and all my bottle trees, when I go on to the Great Compost Heap?
Ahead of anybody jumps to conclusions, I am balanced and fit, and not organizing on moving. Just finding more mature, more introspective, and impressed by COVID to contemplate my destiny, and that of a lifetime of accrued belongings.
Maintain in thoughts that for quite a few yrs I have endured the helpless disappointment of attempting to enable distraught folks having to dispose of groaning book cabinets, overstuffed software sheds, and extremely-personalized back garden beds still left guiding by deceased cherished types. And the truth of the matter is, other than a number of heirloom or worthwhile applications or useful crops, no person really needs them.
This in mind, knowing that sometime my grown children will have to make your mind up what to do with my perfectly-worn books and critically cluttered plants and collectable backyard garden art. Some of it is important, but so remarkably tailor-made to my style it would just take a wonder to come across new residences for them.
So, knowing that extremely handful of persons will essentially treatment about my fancies, and not seeking to burden everyone with a egocentric “it will not be MY dilemma right after I’m gone” solution, I am disciplining myself to be a lot less clingy, by commencing to declutter. I’d instead do it myself, cherishing memories as I go, than saddle other people with the chore.
And it has turned out to be a mentally and emotionally liberating process.
The trendy time period for this unburdening tactic by arranging and giving absent possessions ahead of an individual 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 things it’s about discovering a way to improve the pleasures of living a extra unhindered everyday living.
In my case, it’s been easy adequate to get rid of broken applications and other junk in my device get rid of, and purging out-of-date or no lengthier beneficial textbooks. But this is significantly more than just a long put-off cleansing up it has turned into a deliberate prepare for bettering the good quality of my existence by downsizing and arranging whichever is left and even now required or actively loved.
I have very long joked to backyard garden friends (and alerted my loved ones to this) that they really should just arrive by and take no matter what they want, and place the rest in a Dumpster. I even have a record of what and where the most useful or exceptional collector-variety plants are, and how to dig and go them productively. Genuinely.
But past 12 months I requested my landscape architect good friend Rick Griffin, who encouraged and guided a lot of of my celebrated yard design attributes, to assist me start off decluttering my personal celebrated cottage back garden. Right after streamlining and simplifying flowerbeds to greater showcase just my favorites, we enlarged flagstone and crushed slate regions for far more persons room and significantly less planting, mulching, and weeding.
And it appears to be like far better. And I experience superior. Discovering to just say no to new vegetation I can very easily admire somewhere else, and allowing go of accrued things, has been therapeutic. Lifestyle boosting.
Anyone want to treatment for some perpetually-cheery 3rd-hand gnomes?
Felder Speeding is a Mississippi author, columnist, and host of the “Gestalt Gardener” on MPB Assume Radio. Email gardening questions to [email protected]