Having a small yard or a few roses? I wanted to dedicate this post to rose lovers out there who have a small space/backyard, those who have a small rose collection, and new rose enthusiasts who have just started growing roses.
I know that sometimes, seeing photos of beautiful roses, backyards and even rare roses on social media can make some people feel discouraged or even sad. While that may sound so strange or ungrateful. It's a sad reality of us unconciously compare our gardens to others. Why did I know this? As crazy as it may sound - I can bravely admit that it was me a few years ago into my rose gardening.
Like many of you, I love roses (along with other flowers, veggies, herbs)). With a limited space in my backyard, an ever growing list of roses doesn't sound like a possible dream. So many beautiful roses out there, not enough space to fit them all. Does that sound familiar?
For a long time, I let that limited mentality ruin my gardening joy. I wish I had more room, I wish we could own land, I wish we could move to a new house with a bigger backyard and the list went on.
This also led me to discover and learn how I had lived and thought as well as why I was never really happy and always chased happiness outside.
Nothing was really enough. It's about having more, chasing for new things, trying to fulfill something I didn't even know if that's what I really wanted. I just thought they would make me happy.
As my rose collection and wish list grew, I was not satisfied with the backyard until life slapped me in the face...REALLY HARD.
Back in Aug 2022, my husband lost his job (and I was a full time small business owner without insurance or steady income). Our world looked very different and we felt completely lost. With many uncertainties lying ahead, everyday was BEYOND stressful. This was the type of experience that one would never truly understand until you are in one. We did live through it. Everyday was like living in an unknown territory, it was very stressful not knowing where to start and what would come out of it.
Despite the never ending stress we faced day in and out, our backyard became our sanctuary, a place of peace and tranquility, a space that kept us sane during such difficult time.
This was the very 1st time in a very long time that I deeply felt a sense of gratitude for EVERYTHING that we had in our lives. You know how most of us say we're grateful, in fact, you can't really feel it. You will truly live and feel it after life throws a rock at you. It's the type of realization that ingrained and forever changed how we looked at things.
I still remember the feelings so vividly of those days when I woke up and went out to the garden. Getting out to get fresh air to clear my head, seeing the sky/birds and roses, spending quiet moments to reflect on everything in life up to that point.
I looked and appreciated my backyard in a way that I had never appreciated it before. Even my husband who wasn't info gardening even said he was very grateful for the roses and our backyard. Beautiful roses and fragrance helped lift his spirit up, even if that's just temporary.
Caring for my roses and seeing them thrive/bloom also bring me strength and hope. Seeing how they dealt with diseases, pests, tough weather, and unpredictable mother nature day in and day out simply assured me that our lives ,too, would be okay..and this too shall pass.
These are some really amazing things about having a small gardening space:
1. Easier to maintain: the bigger the space, the more time and maintenance it needs. Talking about weed pulling which is a real pain in the rear. Who would want to spend a day during summer pulling weeds, right?? The thought of pulling weeds endlessly never fails to bring me back to appreciate what I have...really.
2. It forces you to be more creative: talking about imaginative ways to fit as many plants as you can to fit the space that you have...lol. If there's a will, there's ALWAYS a way. Look at this narrow space of mine that I tried to figure out how to fit 5 roses without removing raised beds back in 2021. I'll do a separate post to show you of my before and after transformation in each area. Would you like to see that?
3. You won't go bankrupt! Seriously, gardening is not cheap these days. It seems all gardening related supplies jumped significantly since Covid and worse now than ever this year. There are sooooooo many rose varieties out there that it seems impossible to be able to acquire them all unless you have a rose fund set up (which is a good idea by the way). Think fertilizer, water and so much more.
With a smaller backyard, there's going to be at a point where you can't fit anymore roses and the only option you have is to remove/relocate what you currently have to add the new ones.
Living in the modern world where we constantly experience comparison and stress can easily steal and kill joy. I realize that if we are not mindful about defining our own happiness/joy, other people, marketers or society will define them for us. If we can't be happy with what we have and where we are. No amount of money or things will ever be enough.
Garden of any size, big or small, can bring joy, beauty, hope, tranquility and much needed therapy to our souls.
Your joy is not defined by the size of your space or the number of roses that you own. I hope my story reminds you of the treasure that you currently have and to embrace every little thing about your beautiful garden and roses. Enjoy growing.
If you'd like to meet this summer, there are 2 events going on in June and July to get us away from summer heat and connect. Check out these events https://www.rosesinhouston.com/summer-lirf and https://www.rosesinhouston.com/summer-lelia