Getting Back to the Garden
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.