The Humble Gardener
You do not garden alone
Why does a gardener need to be humble? After all, look at what he or she creates, beautiful flowers, healthy herbs and tasty vegetables, surely that is a sound reason to be proud. But, pride is not the issue, it is important to take pride in your work, to fully appreciate the value of what you do. The problem begins when the gardeners takes full credit for the garden as not gardener, at least no gardener who grows a bountiful and sustainable garden, works alone.
When I refer to humility or humbleness, I mean a quality of being courteously respectful of others. This attitude is the opposite of aggressiveness, arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity. The humble gardeners does not say, "Me first," but her humility allows her to say, "No, you first, my friend."
Humility is the quality that lets us go more than halfway to meet the needs and demands of others.
The second reason for calling a gardener humble is the root of the word humble itself. Humble derives from the Latin word "humilis," meaning "low," which, in turn, comes from the Latin "humus," which means "earth" or "dirt" or "soil."
Soil is the foundation of the garden; soil nurtures the roots, feeds them and helps them develop strong and vital plants. The humble gardener knows this and understands that the job is to build healthy soil, for once this has been achieved, the garden will thrive.
The most effective way to build healthy soil is first, to avoid artificial additives which will drain the soil of its vitality because these poisons kill the millions of little helpers who work with the plants to produce delicious tomatoes and beautify roses.
The second way to grow healthy soil is to add organic material to it periodically. Compost is a perfect source of organic material and your plants will reward you when you spread it around.
You can purchase compost, be sure it is organic or make your own. When you make your own you reuse those kitchen scraps (vegetable cuttings and egg shells, for example, rather than tossing them away.
Grass clippings can be added to compost as can leaves, rather than bagging them up, cover your garden in the fall with them, or bag them set them aside until the following spring when you break them open, and add the contents to the garden beds.
The humble gardener appreciates the bounty that nature provides and the assistance the birds, bees and spiders as well as many, many much smaller beings provide in helping your garden grow.