January 26, 2009

The hardest part of this whole garden show process lies in the delicate balance between control and trust. When I do a garden for a client in New York I am in control of nearly every element ?(except Mother Nature, but I'm working on that relationship and expect to be able to call her my BFF soon.) I can check on the progress of the containers being built, look at the leafing out of the birch trees at the nursery, watch the irrigation going in, pick up the lights myself and notice they ordered the wrong finish before I leave the store and check on custom cushion being made by a seamstress in the building who makes award winning Broadway costumes so sewing zippers into sunbrella for an outdoor sofa set a breeze. 

But when it comes to this garden show, 3000 miles away, I can check on nothing!

So this is when TRUST must be kicked into high gear. Brent Bissell, my contractor, spent the first two months after agreeing to build my garden for Seattle and San Francisco, assuring me that all would be fine. I would gently ask him, "So what did you build this week?" His reply, "Oh, I haven't started yet but it will all be fine." Now, he is not an employee, he is a partner in this process and if he decides to start building this thing the night before the move in there's not a darn thing I can do about. TRUST, I needed to develop a stronger and more flexible trust muscle. So each time I get off the phone with him I do three or four yoga poses, BREATHE, and think "They really are different on the other coast."

And just as I begin to feel calmer and more trusting that the process will all fall into place as it should, I begin to notice a higher pitch, a faster cadence in Brent's voice. The first signs of panic wafting in. "When are the stones due to arrive?" or "'I'm kind of stuck without the windows from Serious Materials."  

Now, I heard they would all arrive this week, not last as he had hoped, but I can't bear to tell, that the tiles I designed for Imagine Tile, for the floor of the penthouse and the coffee table are stuck in China, or did they say Brazil, and might not get there until the day before load in. I assume he is too busy to read this, but in case not, sorry Brent, I thought it best not to bring up things we really have no control over. BREATHE.