Last week’s snow was the picture of a winter blanket tucking my gardens in for the next few months, settling in “for a long winter’s nap”. As we enter the darkest days of the year, it is a good time to reflect upon the end of another garden season and look toward the light of a new year.
Garden success relies upon the choices that are made and what “goes into” it. Choosing wisely is number one on my garden design checklist. What plant selections will work in the environment? Do the growing requirements such as size, shape and color match the area it will be living? Will my plants “work and play well together”? A “good fit” is much like choosing our clothing. Is the size right for me? Will this piece mix and match well with what I have? Is it durable and will it withstand the test of time (the sustainability factor)? Does the style and color match my character? Does the price point of the item provide value? I often find folks use more “common sense” selecting their clothing than choosing a living garden plant.
What we put into our garden will effect the overall outcome. The garden is a living, fluid environment that relies not only upon making wise initial choices, but grows with care, nutrients and Mother Nature’s seasons. I am always surprised when customers request a “maintenance-free” garden. I carefully remind them that a garden is a “living” thing. In our technology driven age, the virtues of patience and personal investment have taken a back seat to virtual reality, immediate gratification and lack of respect for cause and effect. A small garden plot can bring us back to the basic virtues of life that give meaning: work with one’s hands, persistence, care for living things, and sense of accomplishment in our endeavor. A plot of land helps one realize the garden metaphor of life. Gardening can be a means to learn life’s lessons. Successes and failures in garden practices make for strength and resilience, particularly in children. A balanced, joyful life reflects the basics of gardening: making good choices, care and attention, respecting each others differences, supporting the community, and providing the food and environment needed for growth. In the new year, try digging into gardening” to reveal some real treasures for life.
Wishing you and yours a Joyous Christmas, Happiest of Holidays and good health in the coming year. Be back in 2019 for more “common sense and sustainable” gardening thoughts.