Messages in a Bottle

By Jim Sollecito

Every now and again I find something especially interesting and wonder how it came to rest there. This unopened green bottle in the photo, for instance. Was it set on a rock during a picnic, the distracted owner moving on to other activities?
Every now and again I find something especially interesting and wonder how it came to rest there. This unopened green bottle in the photo, for instance. Was it set on a rock during a picnic, the distracted owner moving on to other activities?

Among other things, I like to collect heart-shaped rocks. I find them interesting and meaningful, wondering how they attained that shape.

I also enjoy searching through old farms seeking hidden treasures in that special disposal site for non-flammable debris.

Intact colored glass bottles are my specialty. Before there was recycling, vessels that had outlived their usefulness and could not be burned were casually tossed over the edge or behind the hedge, someplace out of sight where there they still lie. Insights to life in a different era. Time stops for things left behind.

Every now and again I find something especially interesting and wonder how it came to rest there. This unopened green bottle in the photo, for instance. Its potential never revealed. What was inside? Was it thought to be empty and mistakenly thrown out? Or was it set on a rock during a picnic, the distracted owner moving on to other activities?

This year’s series of cancelations and postponements has created a perfect opportunity to move on to other things. Reassess our own home outdoor environment. If something no longer serves its purpose, is too big and unruly to handle anymore, or doesn’t hold the appeal it did, then it’s time to adjust. Put something more pleasing into that space.

If you can’t see everything at once in a landscape, then it feels bigger. Framing a vista enhances perspective. Perhaps there are some hidden gems in your own yard, potential waiting to be revealed. Or maybe it’s time to redesign and enrich your environment with fresh new garden moments.

What do you see when you turn a corner, look out a window, sit on a deck? Views, frames, forms, flowers, birds, butterflies, bouquets. Refreshing shade. Dancing light. Peeling bark. Foliage shining on overcast days. Flowers glowing at dusk. Instead of screening an ugly view, think of it as creating a lovely garden.

You control your environment more than you know. And these days especially, it feels good to have some control. Sometimes this involves the services of a talented landscape designer. Because just like trees, with age comes strength. Growth rings and wrinkles are signs of experience.

Fall is for planting, especially this year. We are all seeking pieces of normal. To do something that will make us feel better for more than just a few fleeting flashes.

While our future looks different than we envisioned, we can still have a vision.

When we were young our parents told us to “go outside.” I think that message is just as meaningful today. So go outside! Discover something untapped in your own yard. And then do something about it.

Jim Sollecito is the first lifetime senior certified landscape professional in NYS. He operates Sollecito Landscaping Nursery in Syracuse. Contact him at 468-1142 or jim@sollecito.com.

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