I just came across this old draft that I never finished or posted. I do not know where I originally intended to go with it, but I think it is ready and as applicable today as whenever I wrote it.
Self-seeding annuals were taking over the garden, so were thinned out. Overgrown and out of shape shrubs were pruned back hard. Plants that had outgrown their bounds or were sprawling and gave the garden a weedy, untended look were divided and tidied. Definitely a bold move, daunting to some. As always, some plants did not survive the winter and less interesting or unhappy plants were removed. Young plants are still filling in. This all leaves gaps in the garden. For a person who strives for the cottage garden look, or even a full established garden, this can leave feelings of inadequacy. People looking at the garden can feel as awkward as long gaps of silence in a conversation. The thing is, I am not usually bothered by stretches of silence. They provide room for thought which lead to deeper conversation than when filled with trivial chatter. I got to thinking, the same is true of those spaces in the garden. I could fill them with insignificant plants or let others continue past the point of interest, but then there would not be room for more desirable plants that take more time and effort to find or for established plants to shine. Pauses in the garden and in conversation allow space for more depth and interest, something badly needed in this fast paced, often shallow world.