I will start with the good news first. As I walked through my garden this past week I saw some really beautiful flowers. My pink crinum lilies (I have pretty white ones too) were blooming beautifully . . .
but then as I began to check out my roses the picture is not quite so beautiful. . .
I could see that something was very wrong. In fact there were several things very wrong with my roses . . .
I found aphids sucking the life out of some of my roses.
The rose bush below is being attacked by spider mites. It isn't hot yet so I was very surprised to see them so early. I usually battle them more into July. Looks like we will have an earlier battle this year.
The David Austin Rose below along with several other rose bushes I have are being attacked by Japanese Beetles. I also discovered a bit of fungus on a few of my roses that will need to be treated as well. I really do try to be as organic as possible but sometimes I just have to go on to harsher measures and it looks like this year is one of those times. I know I can pick off the beetles and drop them in soapy water to drown. I also know that I can spray the spider mites and the aphids with a hard blast of water but there are far too many to use these methods. That is what I would be doing all the time. So, this year I will have to apply a systemic fertilizer that will take care of the fungus as well as the bugs. At least this way I can keep from having to poison the entire yard. I know that these pictures must really bust up your illusion that my garden is perfect like in Eden but it just doesn't work that way. I do have a really beautiful garden but it comes with problems too just like life.
It is so easy to look at others who seem to have everything like beautiful houses, cars, gardens, and even beautiful well behaved children and think that their life must be perfect. What you may not see is all their huge debt or their pain of broken relationships, or health problems, or even worse. There are no perfect lives. There are no people without pain or problems. They may do a fantastic job of hiding it from others but all of us have problems. All of us have trials and struggles as well as blessings and beauty. I have learned that the more perfect a life may seem then that is a life that probably has more pain. Instead of comparing my life to someone else's life I try to focus on what is good in my life. Kind of like the picture below. Yes, there are some ugly bugs eating my beautiful roses. But I can see the pretty petals they haven't got to, and those roses have some really beautiful green leaves and they still smell wonderful. I am not suggesting that a person be in denial about the problems around them. Instead, I am saying that the more focus I put on those problems the bigger they get. I will address the problems head on by giving the prescribed treatment to take care of it. In tight finances or huge debt that means I will cut back and try to get by with less luxuries but in the mean time I will be thankful for the luxuries I do get.
I will choose to see that perfect purple salvia behind that imperfect rose as beautiful and worthy of celebration rather than bemoaning the problem rose. I do not suggest that it is always easy but it is worth it because I refuse to empower the bad with more focus than it deserves. I choose to empower hope instead.