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Getting Back to the Garden

Updated on May 24, 2011


Over the years my work has been shaped by a number of influences, music and particular lyrics have played a strong role in helping me choose a path that made sense and served a purpose.

There are many reasons why I have chosen to wander the garden path but the following words from Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock still keep me focused.

And we've got to get ourselves Back to the garden

The garden is where civilization and the wilderness meet, the place where humans maintain the balance and all thrives.

Over the years we have wandered far from the garden and even when we are gardening the techniques that we use are hostile and unfriendly and upset the balance rather than maintain it.

When I speak about gardening I am referring to everything from growing a petunia in a container to a community garden and onto the schoolyard and beyond.

The intent of this hub, which is the first in a series, is to bring my gardening hubs into focus and thereby create a more useful document for anyone who is interesting in growing plants of all kinds.

Why do I garden? Let me count the reasons; but seriously folks, I garden for many reasons and I will explore them here.

Style plays a major role in many gardening discussion but I feel that what is most important is for the gardener to always remember that it is your garden so style it your way. Anyone, who wants to can garden.

The plot may be as small as single container with a cherry tomato and some basil on a table top, for example, or vast; that depends upon your resources (time, money, land) and your interest.

The wise use of water enables the gardener to conserve this valuable resource and to have a garden as well. A garden needs five things to make it thrive; air, light, water and soil are four that in varying degrees nature will provide but the fifth and certainly not the least is the care and attention of a gardener.

Trees may not be right for every garden but the act of planting a tree begins a long term commitment with another being.

Now if there was a situation when it was important to follow the right plant, right place rule it is when you are choosing a tree or trees for your property. Pick the wrong tree and you may find its roots assaulting the foundation of your home. Pick the right tree and you will enjoy its many benefits for many years.

The plant you call a weed, I may call lunch. Weeds, if they were called by any other name would they still annoy us to such a degree. The topic of weeds and weed control can touch off a frenzy of discussion when gardeners gather.

Many people, especially those living in the city are faced with serious space restrictions when it comes to growing anything.

So you want to garden but your backyard is small or non-existent; well do not let that discourage you, if you have the will, you will find the way.

The first step, as in all forms of gardening, is to assess you existing space. How much room do you have? How much sun and shade does that space get?

Growing you favourite plants in a container is another great way to utilize a small space or tot take advantage of decks, patios and balconies.

The choice of container is up to you and there are many possibilities out there. You can buy a wide variety of containers from urns to window boxes at you local plant centre or you can drop by a garage sale and find that unique planter. You may even find ways to recycle items in your attic or garage. Your personal taste and vision will guide you when it comes to choosing a container.

If you are looking to move beyond the lawn and establish and backyard food production system then you may want to take a close look at the forest.

Have you begun to feel that the time you spend watering and cutting your lawn is a waste and probably doing more harm than good? Tired of using poisonous chemicals to keep that lawn green and golf course ready?

Or are you longing for fresh fruits and vegetables?

Perhaps both appeal to you and if you have answered yes to one or both then it could be time to turn your yard into a food forest garden.

There are many possibilities and adventures awaiting the person who chooses to set out on the path back to the garden.

If you are not yet a gardeners then take that first step and plant a seed, watch it grow and produce more seed that you can save and plant to grow more plants and so the circle continues.


tomato plants in container

Bob Ewing photo
Bob Ewing photo

organic gardening


Submit a Comment
  • Dottie1 profile image


    12 years ago from MA, USA

    Great video Bob, thanks for updating!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    12 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, I'll update video, hopefully,

  • Dottie1 profile image


    12 years ago from MA, USA

    Haha I've got to get back to my garden too! I really wanted to listen to Joni Mitchell's Woodstock but the video is no longer available.

    I followed you here from Facebook. Thanks for the friendship!

  • profile image

    Guled Ahmed 

    12 years ago

    Hi bob

    I read your article about "IS TOXIC WASTE BEHIND SOMALI PIRATES" its great article and i read it in local somali website called, then i followed the link and brought me here, well i wann say to you thanks for doing or raising the real issue behind the pirates which is really the " toxic waste" and i have been writing letters to UNDP, UN u name it to do something about it, but i guess my out cry fell into deaf ears. However, i would like to diacuaa with you further into this toxic mess and this is the time really to show the world the reall story. I have so many things to discuss with you kindly drop me your e-mail contacts here is my e-mail

    Concenrned somali enviromentalis

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    12 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome, enjoy.

  • profile image

    Nicole Broome 

    12 years ago

    I'm off to the nursery. I have a balcony with a couple of neglected mandarin trees. Time to get creative! Thanks.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    13 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for the kind words, happy gardening.

  • Dottie1 profile image


    13 years ago from MA, USA

    Your articles on gardening continue to inspire and motivate me in my garden. Thank you.

  • Juliet Christie profile image

    Juliet Christie Murray 

    13 years ago from Sandy Bay Jamaica

    Nice inspiring article should inspire many to go out and start a garden in their neich of the woods

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    13 years ago from New Brunswick

    thanks fo visiting.

  • cgull8m profile image


    13 years ago from North Carolina

    I agree, we have to do our parts and not rely on supermarkets.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    13 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks mariesue, enjoy. growing your own food indivudally and collectively will resolve some problems and make you feel more secure. Thanks for stopping by.

  • starcatchinfo profile image


    13 years ago


  • akeejaho profile image


    13 years ago from Some where in this beautiful world!

    Ah, Gardening. My other therapy. From flowers to veggies. In fact, now that the harvest has begun here, I don't have quite the time for my writing therapy! Oh well, guess I will just enjoy all the fruits of my labors! Nice Hub Bob!

    With food prices as they are these days, and the contaminated produce that sometimes sneak into our stores, it behooves any who can grab some dirt and some seeds to learn to provide, for themselves, a safe alternative to store bought veggies. They taste better, and they are better for you when they come straight from the garden to the table.

  • marisuewrites profile image


    13 years ago from USA

    Gardening heals the wounded, and cultivates the soul...and you said all of that and more. I can't wait to get to planting, we have on small scale now and I dan't wait to get some veggies from the earth in the kitchen...homegrown!! You inspire me! =))


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