Life and Primroses

The yard at the Palatial Horvath Estate has a rather steep hill in front of the house.  In the past, before the hiring of Lawn Boy, this has made it a trifle difficult and unpleasant to mow the lawn.  Several years ago, I decided to dig up as much of the hill as I could and plant flowers on it.  I didn’t really care what the flowers were, as long as they were hardy, enjoyed full sun, were drought tolerant, and were invasive.  See, I didn’t want to be out there tending this new garden any more than I wanted to mow the lawn.  I wanted to just plant it and let it go.

At some point I discovered the Evening Primrose.  This plant met all of my requirements, blooms with showy pink flowers in the spring and early summer, and is so invasive that experts recommend planting it in a container, since it spreads via the roots.  In other words – it was perfect.  I bought about eight plants and stuck them in the ground.

Four years later, and the evening primroses are running amuck.

The plant has such a delicate little name that you’d never think it is the WWF wrestling champion of the garden.  “Primrose awwwww.”  Then you find out that they drag other plants to the mat and smother them unless you keep a space cleared to give non-primroses some room.

That’s okay out on my hill.  That’s exactly what I wanted.  Run amuck, evening primrose, run amuck!  But it’s not so great when similar things happen elsewhere in my life.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking about my other personal primroses.  These are the responsibilities, desires, promises, and people trying to move into my mental and physical space.  When I was at the conference in New York, there was some distance.  Just the fact that I was in a different environment pushed them back a little.  I had room to breathe.

Now I’m home, and I can sense the primroses creeping back in.  These primroses are not necessarily bad things.  Often they are good things, beautiful things, just as the evening primrose plant is beautiful in the spring when it blooms all pink and lovely.  But if I’m not careful, my personal primroses have the potential to smother me.  Or at least smother the “me” that I would like to be.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the primroses in life can be beautiful and necessary and even desired.  But you have to keep a clear space too.  Otherwise the primroses might pull you down and take over the whole garden.

And may your own garden bloom happy and healthy today!


  1. How amazingly well put – and I know I have primroses in my life too. I shall remember to let them invade away from me instead of letting them take me over! 🙂

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Ann: Yesterday the primroses smacked me down onto the mat and put me in a choke hold. 😛 But they shall not prevail! Back, I say! Back! LOL

  2. Betsy,

    That is such a beautiful way of expressing the stuff in our lives. So happy to hear about your book and all your New York adventures.

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