Where have I been? Well, shortly after my last post in July 2014, I started a new job. It's a very good job, objectively speaking, and I am lucky to have it blah blah blah. But until quite recently, it left me so drained that I was unable to even contemplate writing this blog. Let's just say it's been an adjustment.
Partly it was the life-style change: I had been working primarily from home for almost 10 years, and all of a sudden I had to get up at 5:30 in the morning, put on decent clothes, brush my hair, and drive 25 miles each way in hideous traffic. If I were a plant, you would have said I had transplant shock.
I survived the transplant. That's the good news. The bad news is that I am not "the right plant in the right place." On the contrary, it has become increasingly obvious that, at my no-longer-new-job, I am precisely the wrong plant in the wrong place. I am a shade lover in full sun. A hellebore trying to be a rose. Call me Phony Rose.
Hellebores like to work in the background. They hate being "on." They are realists, even pessimists, and they are prone to cynicism (I'll bet you didn't know that about hellebores). If you lie on your back and look up into their downward tilting flowers, you can see that they are rolling their eyes a little.
While hellebores may thrive on neglect, roses are always ready for their close-ups. They practically scream "Look at me!" They are relentlessly enthusiastic and upbeat. They are experts at small-talk. They say "awesome."
Take it from me: it's hard to be a hellebore impersonating a rose. Phony Rose is "on" all the time. She is warm. She is eager to please. She makes a gallant attempt at "bubbly". She sprinkles her emails with exclamation points, as if she were 12 years old, for crying out loud, then signs them "Best wishes" (hellebores prefer "Sincerely"). Frankly, she makes me sick.
And so I am giving my blog another go, as a much-needed antidote to my work alter-ego. It will be a relief to be me again. Here I can say quite bluntly that my front yard has been a failure. That after 10-plus years of gardening, I am still hopeless when it comes to garden design and have yet to create a decent-looking container planting. That my neighborhood is overrun with deer and rabbits and between the two of them nothing in my garden is safe. That you can add snowdrops to the list of plants that in fact are not critter-proof. That while I have always considered myself an animal lover, I am secretly rooting for the hawks.
There. I'm feeling better already.
The Galloping Horse Gardener is a native New Yorker who packed it in in 2005 to live under the radar in Cary, North Carolina. In 2014, she removed to a new secure location somewhere in Raleigh.
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