The Elemental Garden
To spend time in a garden is to step out of your daily life and walk through a doorway into a space that is vibrant and tranquil.
Spending time in your garden, just sitting there, and being part of the buzz that hums around you, is a deeply satisfying experience. If you are a gardener, you experience this regularly and you have an awareness of a deeper connection to Nature and all there is.
The garden needs a hand to keep it from becoming too wild, to water it in times of drought and, when growing food, to make sure it gets feed.
I have often said that a successful gardener grows soil, and when that job is done properly, whatever plants the gardener chooses to use will flourish.
This is true, but the wise gardener also knows that she or he does not accomplish this alone, and that without the help of the basic elements of Nature, water, earth, air and fire, the garden will not survive. It is the elements that determine what you should plant.
Strong winds can knock over tall plants so staking may be necessary. Knowing the winds are strong in your area and knowing the plans you are using will need staking allows you to put the stakes in place when you put the plants into the ground. This precaution saves work but significantly increases the plants’, such as delphiniums and hollyhocks, ability to thrive.
Fire, in the form of the Sun, is required for photosynthesis to take place and photosynthesis is the basis of all plant life and by that reality, the key to human survival.
However, Fire or the Sun alone cannot make a plant grow, water or rain is essential if the newly emerging sprout is to live; without water it will burn up and shrivel away.
The wind or air plays many roles, perhaps one of the most important is that it helps the plant to reproduce by blowing pollen from one plant to another, so that pollination can take place and mew plants emerge.
The elemental gardener is aware that the elements are at work and that a carefully designed garden will incorporate this awareness into the process.
The soil contains the food the plants need to grow and the plant roots will dig down into it to get what they need. If the soil or earth lacks those nutrients the plant will be sickly and may not survive.
Like people, plants require water to quench their thirst and keep them strong and healthy. When Nature does not provide enough water, we my=must find ways to do so.
The gardener can make the soil healthy by adding, organic material such as compost which can be made from the scraps from your dinner table, lawn clippings, leaves and other organic material mixed together.
When the elements are allowed to do their job and the gardener assists when needed, the plants, grow strong and healthy.