Urban Garden Denver Blog


The weather in Denver over the past few days has reminded us of the unpredictability of nature. There are certain patterns and probabilities, but no guarantees. That’s why I think gardening is a hope-filled activity with a long time horizon. If you didn’t live hopefully, you might as well pave over the yard.

For example, this year I am hoping we don’t get a late freeze (I mean a hard freeze into the low 20’s, not tonight’s forecast which has us around 30 degrees). I would love to enjoy the lilac blossoms in May and peaches in the summer, but both are vulnerable to late freezes. Last year there were hardly any lilacs and our peach tree didn’t have any peaches. So I’m hopeful. But I also know that if not this year, then maybe next year. Because my garden isn’t just for the now, it is a long-term commitment.

The uncertainty in gardening and weather is parallel to life. We make plans, we work toward the future, we do our best to be prudent, but there is an unpredictability to life. We are not in control. That realization can either paralyze or free us. We either throw our hands up and endorse existential philosophy that would suggest nothing we do matters, so why act with intentionality at all. Or knowing that we are not in control can free us to pay attention to the areas that are under our influence — our outlook, our viewpoint, how we treat other people  and our faith in God.  And we can let go of everything else outside our realm.

So I plant, I prune, I weed, I admire today’s blooms and I plan for future projects, knowing that it could all be wiped out in a hailstorm tonight. But I choose to be hopeful.

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