My garden has taught me a lot of lessons, but one of the most important is that good enough is usually good enough. When perfectionist tendencies rise to the surface, the garden is the perfect place to tamp them back into place. There is only so much a control a gardener can have over what happens in a garden. And when there is a never-ending list of things to be done, putting a checkmark next to a task is sometimes more important than doing it perfectly.
This tuteur (I’ve called it an obelisk forever, but I think tuteur is the more correct term) is a metaphor for my progress in embracing my friend Eric’s “done is better than perfect” philosophy.
When I built it I messed up the angles (this will come as no shock to anyone who suffered through high school geometry with me). I thought about redoing it and then realized I had other things I had to get done in the garden, so I called it good enough and moved on.
I painted it a bright lime green and it hung out in the vegetable garden.
A few years later I was feeling a turquoise vibe, so I gave it a hasty coat of spray paint, without so much as cleaning it first.
Then it went black, with an equal amount of care (or lack thereof) to the paint job. It also moved to a spot near the garage.
It should come as no surprise that paint jobs like these do not stand the test of time, and by this spring it was looking like a discount camouflage T-shirt. So paint was called for and I was thinking …. gray.
I asked people to guess on Instagram what color I was going to paint it. The guess were far ranging but yellow was far ahead, followed by various shades of blue. Suddenly I realized everyone else was way more exciting than I was.
That probably saved me from getting really old and boring because I ended up painting it a slightly grayed down Wythe Blue, thanks to a bit of custom mixing from supplies found in my still-not-cleaned out paint closet. The Wythe Blue, incidentally was briefly the color of the side access door on the garage until I decided it was too boring there.
I am preferring to think of this color choice as “letting the plants be the star” rather than “Erin is getting super boring.” Either way, I got that baby painted (even sanded a bit first), called it good and checked that job off the list.
Not perfect, but good enough.