The First Cut is the Deepest

June 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

My life is not always the life I have in mind for myself. I want to be one of those peaceful people who has time to grow things, come home from work and make an amazing meal, carefully manage how my orchids are coming along and discuss which new ballet productions I’ve loved and which ones I loathed. Maybe I want to be a retired WASP living in Connecticut? Or an Alice Waters-type in Berkeley? Who knows. But I think we can all agree that whatever it is, I am not there yet.

That said, I did get this to bloom again. So, that is something.

Still, the disconnect between how I want things to be and where they really are requires that I recall the principle of the BATNA from my negotiation classes. (Yes, I actually studied this stuff.) BATNA stands for the Best Alternative To No Agreement. Right now, I am in need of a Life BATNA, and decided that my Best Alternative to being the person I described above is to get a little help with the getting to that place and to not bite off too much when possible. (The latter is a Development Area for me.)

This brings me to the Cutting Garden. I’ve wanted one forever, since I am a firm believer in fresh flowers in the house whenever and wherever possible. And there is something so luxurious about just popping out into your garden and snipping off a few buds to bring into the house. So after several years of dreaming about it, and thinking that I would get to it when I have time, I asked my friend who is also a Landscape Designer to just put a small one in for testing purposes. (The following years will be for getting the layout just where we want it, and for flower choice refinement.) And so he did:

Dahlias and salvia.

More salvia, which line each side of the beds and smells lovely, and some zinnias in a color that I wish I could find in lipstick.

Cleome, I think.

Snapdragons-to-be.

No idea, but I am sure they will be pretty.

More dahlias…

And the “something green” I asked for in an email, but could not remember what I meant when pressed during our last meeting. But he came up with something perfect.

So I found myself standing around all these new things in the back of my house, and didn’t want to touch a thing. I mean, shouldn’t I be “saving” these flowers for something?

The answer is simple: No. Flowers are for now. But being a planner and someone who’s childhood was not without plastic slipcovers, this is a big block to overcome. But I reminded myself that (1) cutting these flowers was part of the Life BATNA I am working on and (2) if I didn’t, I would have to buy some and that would be wasteful. And I hate waste. So, I got my clippers and went for it…

Dahlias and salvia.

Some very early hydrangea blooms…this was a tough one, since they last a long time on the plant, but I cut anyway.

The light scent of roses makes brushing one’s teeth in the morning a little more civilized. And that is the point, isn’t it?

Now, there is still much left to do to get these beds to where I want them to be. Same goes for me personally, I guess. But at this very moment, I am delighted by both the present result and the prospect of the future.

xx

(Photos: Some Cozy Night)

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