This is a photo of my stone walk which has usurped the lionshare of my efforts to renovate it and get it to be free of unsightly weeds. The larger photo is of my home, and the pyracantha that I have tried to unmercifully trim away from the window. Do I still love these features? Yes! but they have become high-maintenance loves.
Is there such a thing as maintenance free gardening? No. Is there such a thing as easy gardening? No. Is gardening hard physical labor? Sure is…. so why do it? Why expend all that effort?
Because of love. That’s right, we are love-slaves to our gardens.
It is because of the many things that a garden can satisfy within us that we gladly serve it. A closeness with the earth… there is no place where you can intimately know things about nature more than in a gardened place. It satisfies the curiosity to observe the seasons, the life cycles of insects and birds…sometimes other visiting animals, and the ever changing panoply of the plants themselves. It connects you with something larger than yourself, and teaches you about lessons that man-made life leaves out: that we don’t have all the control. That alone is worth the price of admission to the gardened life.
Then there is creativity and beauty. As humans we long for beauty, our eyes are never satiated with enough beauty, and our souls yearn for creative pursuits. The garden is filled with both. And often in a forgiving way!
The surprise of the serendipitous matching of plants in bloom and vigor, the accidental perfection of the whim of natures wind blown seed… we pair with an unseen hand in moments of rapturous scent and sight. It can happen in a garden.
The wonder of life. It is rampant in the garden, and we can’t escape the amazing seed time and harvest cycles, the immense power of seedlings come to life, becoming full grown with bloom and giving us flower and fruit. We are amazed at our own part in it all, and humbled at the same time.
We become scientific with charts and pH readings, and techniques. We become artists with color schemes and shapes and contrasts. We become nurturers, and culinary masters… with only a well grown tomato or succulent strawberry. We are the clucking mothers of little plants, and the protective fathers of our vegetable plots. We are judges of the best, the mavens of our flowering borders, and children in awe of how Wonderful our world is.
…and that is why we will dig, and haul, turn, and cover, uproot, and weed, plant and fertilize, and all the many many labors that we render to our little gardened portions of the world. Slaves, but never more free than this!
Reposted from Ilona’s Garden Journal