Thou Shalt Not Covet Your Neighbor's....Plants??

We live in the suburbs on a lot that is just shy of 9000 square feet. That square footage must hold a home, a driveway, a patio area, a shed, walk ways, and space for the kids and dog to run around. We also grow quite a few fruits and vegetables in our garden. We ask a lot of the little piece of land we own. 

I also have a love affair with almost all flowers, shrubs and trees. They have a habit of finding their way into the back of my car and being tucked into various spots around our garden. But even though we work to maximize the space that we have...there are some plants or shrubs or trees that we cannot grow. Sometimes it's a case of not having a sunny enough location for a given plant. Other times it's that I just plain don't have the space. 

And so you used to find me walking through my neighborhood throughout the year being slightly envious of all of the beautiful flowers and trees that my neighbors have in their gardens. Witch hazel, Japanese snowball, vine maples, tree peonies can all be found if you were to walk around my neighborhood. I love all of these trees and shrubs, but I can't squeeze even one of them into my garden. 

And then there are the vines. The various clematis that can be found, the chocolate vine (akebia quinata), honeysuckle or wisterias all blooming throughout the year. I have room for one vine in my garden, and it is a beautifully scented jasmine my boys gave me for Mother's Day years ago. 

So while I am on these walks through my neighborhood, I am working to shift my envious attitude. I have begun to remind myself that I do not have to grow all of these plants to enjoy them. They are available for me to see and enjoy all year long...they are just down the block or around the corner. I have begun to adopt a mindset that my neighborhood is my own personal garden tour of plants that I can love and appreciate. I don't even have to grow some of the plants to enjoy their scents. Through the month of May, the scent of my next door neighbor's wisteria fills our backyard. Changing my mindset of "I wish I could grow that (fill in the blank) plant in my garden" to "Let's see what's in bloom this week in my neighborhood" has been very good for me. I am thankful for the variety of plant life I get to see each day.

Have you fallen into this same plant envy trap? Have you tried to change from coveting a neighbor's plant to enjoying what you get to see? I encourage you to take a walk around your neighborhood have your own personal garden tour! 

Happy gardening,