Friday, March 6, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow

My dear friends, thank you so much for your kindest words on my last post (in fact, on all of my posts). I'm feeling a little like I'm basking in a spotlight which is not exactly mine. It's about the closet. I'm definitely not the best organized person even in this room (with only two people in it at the moment, just so you know). But I do want to keep my closet nicely organized and am moving in this direction. I only showed you a couple of the latest steps I took, there are still many more to take. Now, when that's cleared off, let's talk about closets and wardrobes some more, not about my particular closet, but in a broader sense. And a little bit about life too, just a bit.

I see a garden as a beautiful and accurate metaphor for life. If you did even a little bit of gardening, even just a couple of flower pots in your kitchen, you know that plants need certain conditions to grow well - light, water, soil and a certain degree of your attention. You also probably know that every plant has different needs - some are fussy and tender, while others seem to be easy - plant-me-and-forget-about-me kind of plants. Then, there are seasons - more work in some seasons, and less in others. And just if all those variables would not be enough, on the top of everything, we all are very different gardeners. And one person can be even different within themselves - we can  have other stuff going on, we're moody, we're cranky, we're tired... Sometimes, we just don't feel like caring and neglect our gardens. On the other hand, I'm sure you know people generally called "green thumbs" (maybe you are one of them) - those who seem to simply put a seed in soil, and the next thing you know, boom - a lush garden grew over night. So effortless. So unfair.

I think it's like that in our lives in general, and also in any particular area of our life - our interests, jobs, relationships etc. At times, it seems, we don't really do much, and it all comes easily together, and you and those around you enjoy the "lush garden"... At other times, it seems we read all the right books, listen to all the right advice, work hard, sleep little, worry, think, buzz, buzz, buzz... and instead of greenery that we are longing to see, we get a dry desert.

Life is a process the same way as gardening is a process. If you ask any avid gardener, you'l know that gardening is a never ending project - it is not something you can plant and sit back and just enjoy the result. That "result" is ever-evolving. Sometimes you have lots of weeding, cutting and shaping to do. Other times, all you have to do is waiting, instead of jumping around the seed and worrying that id's not growing any faster - because you as a gardener know that it'll grow in its own time, or maybe it won't grow, maybe you planted it too late or too early, or the soil was wrong for the seed, or not enough sun, or... many, many reasons... But the bottom line is you don't help your garden by worrying about it. Researching - yes, caring - yes, experimentation - yes, love - yes, but not worrying. The most amazing thing about gardens is... they are organic. A complex, sophisticated wonder that grows organically and has its own rhythm which you, being a gardener, learn to recognize and respect.

As one gardener is different from the next, we all are different from each other, We are in different points of our life journey, and our style journey too. And there are no points in our journey that are invalid, ridiculous and somehow "bad" - simply because that's where we are right now, at this particular moment in time. I feel that I reached a place where my wardrobe is full of pieces that I can mix and match more or less successfully. It was a very interesting and intense journey which lasted about a couple of years. I told you that I had a long period when I just did not have much inner energy left for style and fashion - I was way too busy in other areas of my "garden", and this area became neglected for a while. When I began paying attention again, I had to start figuring myself out from scratch - I got older, my body changed, my size got bigger, but more than anything, I decided to live a life that I envisioned for myself years ago. A life of a creative person who takes each day one at a time and decides what she does with it (and let me tell you, it's not always easy, and there are many days that just don't seem to work at all). Nevertheless, I enjoy my journey tremendously and wouldn't exchange it with anybody else's. I love my "garden". Simply because it is me who planted it - following my own vision, my dream. It is my own creation - from zero, from scratch. Without a strict plan. Organically.

At times, I compare my style journey with someone else's, and start feeling small. Why do I only go to two or three tested-and-trusted companies to buy my clothes (with an occasional trip to Goodwill and such)? Does it mean that I am conservative? boring? unimaginative? But then I think - I not only enjoy their designs, but I also know that their fit works for me, and it is a big struggle, to find the right fit for my changed body these days. I found something that works for my garden, I trust these couple of nurseries. Maybe they are not the most amazing nurseries in the world, maybe their plants are not the most exotic, but they work for where I am as a gardener right now, and they work for my little garden - the type (or rather types) of soil, the amount of sun and rain my garden gets, the amount of space I have for my garden, the amount of money I am comfortable spending on my garden. And also for the level of imagination and courage to experiment that I have today. For who I am and where I am now in my gardening journey, these nurseries work. I am able to find appealing combinations with my simple plants. And I do it with love and fascination, with genuine enthusiasm. 

And yes, of course I know, I know for sure that there are thousands, millions of other gardens in the world, and so many of them are much more intricate, imaginative and lush than mine. But this one is mine, and it is what it is now. Yesterday, it was different. Tomorrow, it will be different. Gardening is a process, just like writing is a process, styling is a process and living is a process. And I truly believe that to fully appreciate gardens, style, writing, life and all other processes of others for who they are and what they create, I firstly have to learn to fully appreciate myself for who I am. And today, I want to give my closet, at this particular moment in time, at this point of my journey, the respect for what it is. I found what works for me now. I can do some interesting combinations with it... now. Tomorrow will be a different day, and the whole different story.

On a completely different subject... can it get any more beautiful than this?
A view from a park in Burien, WA.

Skirt, shirt (old) - Lane Bryant
Vest - Chico's
Coat - Ashley Stewart
Boots - Aquatalia
Purse - B Makowsky
Jewelry - Chico's and Lane Bryant

Linking with Fun Fashion Friday - come to share some fun!



  1. Your comparison of life with a garden is particularly beautiful...and it really resonates with me. Right now both my life and my garden are not orderly but I'm realizing that it doesn't mean that all the choices I made were bad ones...and there are choices that I made that I should learn to be proud of and appreciate more.

    Sometimes you do everything right, work hard, sleep little, take changes...and nothing comes out of it. Every year seems to be a step back and our life compared to others an unsuccessful failure. One might be forced to be in a place where you allow others to take credit for your work just to make a living....Right now I don't have a full time job and every phone call I get I will answer with yes, no matter how badly paid it is because I can't afford to do otherwise...When things are not working out well, what else is there to do but to continue working hard and trying to do the right thing? I do believe nothing makes it easier to find peace with ourselves than knowing we did our best...and that is what matters the most.

    There are times in love when everything goes well ...I had those times too. I hate to admit it, but these hard times taught me a much more than those days of smooth sailing.

    I really like your outfit. Seeing leopard print always makes me happy...and that blouse/shirt is really divine and so well matched with that vest and skirt. The boots and the purse are quite lovely. The coat finishes the look nicely.

    I also buy clothes only at handful of places. In 9 out of 10 cases, I will buy local brands because I want to help my friends that work in the industry keep their jobs. I think it only makes sense to support the local fashion, besides I'm not willing to advertise the big brands for nothing. They have more than enough publicity anyway.

  2. Such a cool look! Beautiful photos. Love your metaphor. Off to check out your closet post now! Thanks so much for linking up with Fun Fashion Friday!
    Dawn Lucy

  3. This post brings up so many thoughts about style, life, and searching, etc...I go to the same very few nurseries myself. I do this because it's probably that I will find what I'm looking for at a decent price. I also remember combing through way too many racks and different stores and feeling lost, so having it narrowed down is smart and time saving. I love your thoughts about our journey being like a garden. It is evolving but we also learn through trial which plants are easy and suit us, so at that I feel a little less experimental. Some of this comes with age I suppose, Age and smarts! ;)
    I think we all compare with others at times. I work in an environment filled with highly schooled successful people and I wonder at my age why I just an office assistant. But I forget to pat myself on my back for my choices and my own successes and end up feeling smaller than the rest. I try not to let myself think like this for very long but it is there nearly daily. Like you I chose a creative life and it's not easily measured in the world we live in on the success scale. Neither is motherhood though we both know how important that is.
    Thank you for sharing your insights and your journey. It's why I keep coming back!

  4. my beautiful wise friend!! amen!
    but to say that your fabulous clothes are simple plants! ts ts. ;-)
    you said all - in wonderful words - nothing to add. or - no - wait! love your adventurous glamorous outfit!!!!
    hugses!!!!!! xxxxxxxxxxx

  5. You know, it is same with me, I have a couple of places here where I go in search of new clothes and almost every time I find something for myself. But there are places where I never go because what they offer is just not for me. And it is same with brands: some attract instantly, some leave indifferent.
    Brilliant post, Natalia! Your comparison of life with garden is very interesting. Your outfit is just perfect: colours, prints are so well coordinated.

  6. Great metaphor. Your writing is always stimulating and I can see how it fuels your creative abilities in the closet as well.

    PS...I wore a very similar version of this last week! LOL Get out of my brain Natalia! LOL

  7. Natalia, after reading your post I took a walk in my garden to digest your thoughtful words . As both a gardener and someone drawn to clothing as a means of personal expression your words truly resonated with me.Life is always an unpredictable journey,as in the garden some seasons are bountiful other not ,you learn to take it as it comes.You are such a wise soul to live each day and enjoy the moment and be true to yourself. We always covet others gardens, it is human nature but in time we begin to enjoy our own blooms because they are ours alone. I very much enjoyed your blooms today as I always do, dont worry about sticking to what suits you as far as brands,your own style shines through. xx

  8. I think it is good to see other's gardens, and ask ourselves questions about our own nursery choices, but when we decide we are doing what is best for us, we need to rest our questioning right there!
    You are obviously doing what works for you. You always look stylish and well thought through, right down to the jewellery.
    I love shopping at op shops because it gives me the freedom in my budget to experiment and have high turnover so I don't become bored. But I know I don't always look as classy as some. That is the choice I've made for now, with my body which has its sensitivities and problems. I am a colourful casual cottage garden! 😄 xo Jazzy Jack

  9. Natalia dear this is such a lovely post. Great metaphor too. I also tend to shop from the same stores that I know works for me and also mix it with custom made clothing. I will say mine is a colorful garden which I am happy with at the moment. Enjoy your week. xo

  10. Natalia,
    This is beautiful written and you analogy works so well. I do agree so avidly with it. I am so glad that your garden is your oasis as the moment,and that you have accepted it as an organic thing, and are willing to let it grow and change.
    There is nothing boring about your clothes or outfits, so very much the opposite.
    I also am challenged with getting clothes to fit, but I widen my choices, and try for clothes that are not too expensive, but well made, so I can remake them in my size!I
    love this outfit today, it si the perfect example of a ell tended garden, planted with rich soil, and allowed to grow iinot its own beautiful shape,
    Love the contrsting Leo patterns , the colors of earth and moss, the cape, and the smile on your
    beautiful face.
    XX, Elle