This is the time of year when I dream of having a lush, green English garden, where I can sit and watch the birds and butterflies, and maybe read a book. Fat chance.

The reality is that from about noon until the sun goes down, my garden is a blazing inferno. There is no place to sit and enjoy. It’s get in, water, cut some okra, and get inside for ice water and air conditioning. The only thing growing happily right now is the weeds.

A garden is a wonderful place to learn to balance expectations with reality.

The reality is that most things that will grow in the beautiful English garden in my head won’t grow in North Texas. So, I’ve spent a lot of time learning about native plants, and finding things that are pretty, and still tough enough to endure through drought and water restrictions. I’ve discovered all sorts of beautiful plants whose flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

I’m sure there’s a clever point in here about accepting that when what’s in your head, and what’s on the paper in front of you don’t match up, it’s time to find the beauty in the reality, and forget about beating yourself up about not meeting expecations—but it’s just too damned hot to be clever.