Monday, January 16, 2012

Eden, a garden paradise...

it's the place that gardeners dream of.  Turning a wilderness or empty gravel patch into an ordered and productive garden.  Or maybe the opposite? Transforming a square of neatly trimmed lawn into a flowing natural place of beauty and wonder.  Gardening is our way of bringing our vision of nature into being in whatever space we may have available.  Of course this means that every garden is different.  Set in different nations, in different climates, on different soil. Each person's garden is built with different materials, planted with different types of vegetation, varying infinitely in style and feel.  Far more original and indicative of the individual is the garden, than anything else in a person's life. A japanese garden is an ordered structure, designed to show nature's own perfection in miniature.  An Arizonan xerascape garden is intended to require little water and little maintenance and imitate the vegetation of the nearby desert.  Cottage gardens are far less structured and tend to incorporate cutting flowers, flowing carpets of floral abundance, lavishly scented herbs; they are gardens to meander through and enjoy the butterflies on hot summer days. And then there is the vegetable garden.  Just as many varieties of vegetable garden exist as you can imagine.  From massive monoculture farms, filled with corn for as far as the eye can see; to tiny pots on a sill in the kitchen, brimming with herbs to toss into a soup or salad.

Anyone who has ever held a seed or living plant and made the decision to make it grow can consider themselves a gardener.  There is no firm definition of what size, shape, color, or texture a garden is.  People who consider themselves gardeners often share only their successes, rarely their failures.  If you know someone that you consider to have a green thumb, you are mistaken.  Green thumbs are nothing more than trial and error, knowledge, and luck. You can grow a garden.  And, you'll find that for every plant that is a success you will find yourself wanting to put in two more. It becomes almost an addiction to test the limits of what is possible to grow within your space... or even your neighbor's, if you can convince them.

Pumpkins, runner beans, zucchini, calendula, cucumber, and in front, thyme.

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