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Today, I planted a Clematis called "The President" which has the most amazing, large purple flowers. I've been planning for this day. Last summer, a friend was discarding two large arched trellises, so I took them home. As a gardener, I couldn't see them going in a dumpster, even tough I wasn't sure where I'd put them! Soon I realized if I removed the top arches, they were perfect along the back side of our pool deck, which faced the street. That open view under the deck had always bothered me; I figured I'd address it some day. So it took some time to decide what to plant. English Ivy is too invasive, as is Trumpet Vine and Morning Glory - three I was very familiar with removing from our garden. No hurry I decided. Well this year, I found my answer... Clematis. So yesterday, when I was in Devon consulting with a client, I popped into Terrain (THE most lovely garden store!) and found a beauty called The President.

As I started digging, I realized I was working with unadulterated clay soil - something I hadn't seen in our garden in many years! It was neat to feel it's texture. I even came across a piece of vintage tile - likely discarded when my house was being built in the 1950s. When it seemed time to plant, I noticed my new treasure was super comfortable on it's original mini-trellis. Yet in order to encourage its spread, I'd need to disturb that. Clematis climbs by wrapping its tiny little tendrils around anything in its path - the trellis, the vine, other leaves, etc.. Each tendril is delicate, but in quantity, they're strong. And there were MANY of them. So it took time and patience.

As I sat there unwrapping these tiny tendrils as not to break any, I wondered if I was nuts to be taking this time for these details. Was it futile? Who'd laugh at me if they were watching? I remembered how I was often criticized by a former employer for stewing in the details. They'd ask "why do you make so many notes on your plans"? Or they'd suggest I stop taking the time to make "pretty pictures" to send clients. The bottom line was paying attention to details slowed down my sales. And they were right; it did. But the number of sales wasn't MY priority. It was theirs. My clients' end result was my priority, making sure I was fulfilling their dreams throughout this huge financial (and emotional!) investment. Equally important was giving them all their options, remembering their wishes, likes and dislikes, minding expectations, and ordering all the correct parts and providing notes to the installers to they knew what all the parts were for - for a smooth and accurate install. Reno planning is full of details. Sure, you can ignore them, but it doesn't make them "go away." They'll just come back to bite you!

So as I sat there unwinding the dozens of tiny tendrils on my new plant, I found confirmation that I wasn't wasting my time. This was an investment in the success of this plant - hopefully for many years. Likewise, my attention is detail is important to my clients, and to my business. My confirmation comes from the number of clients who have "followed" me - the contractors who invite me to help their clients, the Real Estate Investors who appreciate my experience in their shoes, the homeowners who refer me to friends and family. My attention to detail is why I'm so busy and will keep me going, and help my business thrive, and perhaps grow.

Today, I was reminded, I am so happy just being me . . . stewing in the details.

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