Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gardening and hope

I've been reading an excellent, and beautifully written, collection of essays called Grassroots Gardening: Rituals for Sustaining Activism by Donna Schaper. It's about gardening and keeping grounded.

I came across a mention of it in An Urban Plot, written by a gardener in North Carolina. I'm quite certain I wouldn't have come across it otherwise. So for a miniscule price + shipping, I've obtained this lovely book of meditations on gardening.

Something I connected with, and why I bought a copy, was an prologue quote posted in An Urban Plot that "I garden to remind myself of my hope." And her next post about the book included: "I just love this image of growing hope and curing despair through the garden and the act of recreating (create again, renew) while recreating (activity done for enjoyment)! Yes indeed, good stuff happens in the garden, layers and layers of amazing stuff that one can not even begin to measure by any standardized means."

I find gardening (both transforming our former lawn to wildlife-friendly plantings and my vegetable gardening activities) and doing garden outreach to be both personally restorative, meaningful, and grounding -- and it does bring me hope.

Gardening can be stewardship (of the earth) or it can be extractive, and everything in between. It's hopeful to be a good steward.


  1. You're so right. For me right now, it's about hope for my son and his generation. I show and therefore teach him how a well tended garden can have so many rewards. Let's hope it makes him a better steward when he is older. Thanks for sharing the book.

  2. I love that quote! Gardening is about hope and new beginnings.

  3. Thanks for the book rec. A propos, I spent the morning laying cardboard in hope of life beyond the illusion of fescue in drought-plagued zone 7b(going on 8b, I'd say). I'm envisioning drought tolerant and pleasing (to me and wildlife) natives in its place. With time, warmth, and some compost on top, here will end another large area of what was supposed to be "lawn" on our property. Amen.

    In case you haven't run across it, you might enjoy Tom Spencer's wonderful blog
    Inspirational words and photography, mostly of his Austin garden-- how beautiful hot and dry can be!


I enjoy hearing from fellow nature lovers and gardeners. Let me know your thoughts.

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