Back in the mid to late 1960s my Friday nights were reserved for babysitting jobs. I always had the kids in bed and settled by 9PM in time for my weekly Star Trek episode on NBC. Yes the one and only original Captain Kirk, Mr, Spock, Bones, Mr. Zulu, and Scotty who took me light years into the future with imagination and the ever present tongue in cheek. So I, like many other fans of the original television series, mourned last week’s passing of the actor, Leonard Nimoy who played the iconic, always logical, pointy eared Starship Enterprise First Officer, Mr Spock.
And “what”, you ask “can the likes of the character Mr. Spock offer the gardener”?. It was his final twitter post days before he died that lead me to examine the legacy and wisdom of this character as it relates to those of us passionate about gardening: “Life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved except in memory. Live Long and Prosper” -Leonard Nimoy February 23, 2015.
As I begin readying myself mentally, physically and spiritually for my garden season, I found these words a most fitting premise to begin planning for my 2015 garden season. It is important to savor the early spring moments of getting your hands back in the dirt once the snow has left us for good; smelling the new compost; hearing the birds return and watching the crocus be the first to emerge in my beds. His words also encouraged me to spend more time out each day in my garden seeing that first bloom, enjoying the sounds of the swiftly moving hummingbirds and observing the butterflies and bees return. It reminds me that the core design of gardens is for the living.
But it was the consummate, supremely logical Mr. Spock that lead me to pull a few of his iconic quotes for gardeners:
1. “Live Long and Prosper” That should be the goal of us all in our gardens. Fast, temporary and disposable don’t relate well to the life of a garden.
2. “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”. We want our gardens to work and play well with others. The aggressor or the diva plant care can’t consume our time and resources.
3.”Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”: Assess, reassess and conclude,are practices we must adopt in our gardens. Be prepared, whether we like it or not, truthful outcomes tend to be humbling
4. “Change is the essential process of all existence” Change is good? Yes and embracing new and old in our gardens keeps us learning, engaged and living. Think outside the box this season.
5. “Loss of life is to be mourned, but only if that life is wasted”. So maybe this season you try a new plant or bring one home to nurture. I am a sucker for those sorry looking plants in the clearance section. There is just something about that sign that draws me in…even with plants! And if it dies, loss is not always just a loss. It can be an experience from which to learn.
As our North Country days bring us temperatures that rise above 32 degrees F over the next month, we can watch the snow melt, and anticipate our new garden season through the eyes of Mr. Spock: “Live Long and Prosper”, that is truly sensible and sustainable gardening.