Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Rule of Three

One of the rules of landscaping is the "rule of three," meaning you should plant things in groups of three -- typically in some kind of triangle rather than in a line. There's a natural harmony or balance that happens with odd numbers that doesn't happen when you have a single plant or even numbers of things. I typically follow the odd rule/rule of three in my gardens and notice that the gardens I'm re-arranging more than others are the ones where I've done pairs of things or single specimens. But, that's not the "rule of three" I'm thinking about today.

My friend, Sally, has a rule that if you hear something (or it comes up) three times in a certain period of time -- a day or a week -- for example, you need to pay attention to it -- and maybe take a lesson from it. I follow this rule, too. And, the thing that popped up three times this past weekend was the word "lush." It was the word people used to describe the gardens. Because I live on a corner, lots of people walk by and lots of people comment on the gardens. But, it's rare that I hear the same word or phrase more than once in a weekend. "Great," "Pretty," "Coming along," "Gift," are the most common. But over the weekend, the overwhelming comment was, "It's so lush."

It surprised me because it's not a word I'd use to describe the gardens. I still think of them as a work in progress. And, I know I tend to see the weeds and holes and room for improvement more than I see the things that are working. I got out my thesaurus and double-checked the synonyms -- verdant, luxurious, abundant, flourishing. I looked at the gardens again and thought that they were, indeed, lush.

I'm still trying to figure out what I'm supposed to take away from this phrase. Is it that I need to look with fresh eyes at things? Am I to slow down and experience not only the gardens but life in all its abundance? Is it something else?

Do you also pay attention to "the rule of three?" If so, post a comment and let me know!


Marguerite said...

I've been trying to pay attention to the rule of 3 lately in my new flower bed. It's a tough one though when you're trying out a new plant and not sure if you'll like it or not. I have so many plants I've bought one of just to try and the garden starts looking a little haphazard.

Auntie K said...

It is hard to commit to 3 (or more) of something -- especially if you're just trying it out. I've got a lot of onesy twosey things, too, Marguerite. Some, I've kept as "specimens," and others I've either given away or gotten more of. I find that if I get the small plants, I feel better about the cost for three of the same thing.

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