Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gardening for Happiness and Friends

As the season moves towards cooler weather and tasks that only true gardeners find enjoyable (planting bulbs, cleaning up dead flowerheads), I am feeling more reflective upon my horticultural philosophy.

Carol from May Dreams Gardens got me thinking with her story about her niece's new plant and horticulture university course. Gardening should never be practiced alone, as one can learn so much from trading stories and plants with others. I just realized that I look forward to social functions as an opportunity to find willing recipients for my perennial divisions and to discuss their vegetable gardens. Is that normal? I don't know, but you can learn something about a person by the expression on their face when you offer them free composting worms. Personally, I would be excited, but I only know two people in town who have had composting worms. One of them has since moved out of town after failing to get the entire high school into vermicomposting. Well, I don't think that's why he moved, but I'm sure the disappointment was a small element.

I need to find a "Born to Garden" shirt for the assistant gardener and over-eager eater of green strawberries:

I can't imagine the day when I am bored by plants. Resident-lawnmower-man may jest that I have made purchases just because "I don't have one of those", but I'll admit it's true. I have a perennial order coming soon, including a few new plants I'll have to find room for. I have shifted from a design esthetic that valued repetition to more of a "one of everything" goal, which is of course, un-obtainable (making it that much more exciting). This is why I enjoy touring small gardens, because I will always learn about something new.

Resident-lawnmower-man works feverishly to finish my new alpine bed:

A co-worker recently bought a new house and I think I've been quite clear that I am always ready to deliver perennials to his house. In fact, I'd probably even plant them. Unfortunately, I think he's aspiring to one of those "low maintenance" yards involving a small patch of lawn and some shrubbery. As a busy person with a family and stressful job, I love my "high maintenance" yard, though I don't see the maintenance part as anything but positive and enjoyable. It's therapeutic, in fact. Those "low maintenance" people just don't know what they're missing. Secretly, I may find their hobbies rather inferior to mine (who needs to fish or cruise about the lake on a sailboat anyhow?).

Wow, that was a long and personal post. That's what you get for blogging while listening to Josh Groban and Coldplay.


Muddy Boot Dreams said...

It's good that you are honest. Gardening is theraputic. And sharing seems to be in a gardeners nature. Whether it is plants or knowledge. So thanks for sharing!

Barbarapc said...

I purchase plants because I know my friend Joan doesn't have them. I noticed lots of grass around that new alpine bed...I'd simply say you need them because there's still room.

Carol said...

Thanks for the link and I'm happy I got you thinking about gardening and happiness and friends. Though, really, it sounds like you are always thinking about gardening anyway!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Karen said...

Why would you need a "Born to Garden" shirt when you have a lovely ensemble that includes a sunhat and patterned sunglasses? Wow!

Cicero Sings said...

I love the assistant gardener!

Kandace Groenewegen said...

Love the picture of the little green strawberry fiend! Hopefully her diapers aren't causing you too much trouble after her feasts!

While reading your post I had images of you returning from a trip abroad... large sunglasses and a black wig on, huge bag stuffed with things you had unearthed to bring home for your collection. I wonder how well that would go over in customs??!! Haha.

Kandace Groenewegen said...

imaginary images that is. You would never go too far, right Groban fan?

Ottawa Gardener said...

Oh yeah. People will ask me to help plan their new gardens and as I starting enthusiastically naming off great gardening combinations and flower sequences, they say "I'm looking for low maintenance really. Some junipers and rocks. You know."