Sunday, March 5, 2017

Thinking about gardens and gardening

Early on in my garden blogging days, I remember a fellow blogger asking a question.

Do we create gardens that we aspire to?  Or, do we create gardens that reflect ourselves?

I'm firmly in the second camp, having created gardens now in two places (with my gardening companion) that thoroughly reflect our preferences and sensibilities as gardeners (and being native plant folks by background).

As I realized the connection between my own creativity and gardening, I started to encourage folks to think about their gardening styles and expressing their creativity through gardening in some of my presentations and workshops.  Fran Sorin's book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening was a catalyst, over a decade ago, in my thinking.

Hmm, I thought, that's what's been my end round back to being creative again, it's gardening.  And almost 1,850 blog posts later, I'm realizing that writing is my first creative love, although I continue to love gardening and art.

I truly enjoy reflecting on nature and gardening on a regular basis, and getting ready to do a talk tomorrow on creativity and gardening, I was rather surprised to look over the titles of blog posts over the years (looking to see if I'd written about this before).

Both the diversity and similarity of posts struck me, as did the seasonal rhythm of the topics.  It's almost spring now, so the emergence of spring empherals and early flowering native shrubs and trees are part of the vocabulary, as are the vagaries of spring temperature.

This year is remarkably early. That's part of the equation of a changing climate. But I'm also continuing to enjoy the swelling sassafras buds outside the upstairs window, harvesting the overwintering kale as it's starting to bolt, and planting sugar snap peas, with a hopeful thought that maybe I'll be able to harvest a bowlful, before summer heat sets in.


  1. I love this post, and will definitely look up that book. I've been without a garden (beyond a plethora of pots on my balcony and my interior greenscape of houseplants) for more than a year, and I miss it terribly. I think our gardens are inevitably shaped by the limitations and demands of the location, our time and our skill. We can aspire and force some things, but ultimately, our gardens show our values. Beauty vs utility, order vs chaos, a place to live vs a place to observe, etc. All I know for sure is that when the time comes for a new home, a garden will be a must. I don't mind the upkeep, I miss picking things for dinner out of my backyard, and I'm already tired of paying exorbitant HOA fees for unimaginative and wasteful landscaping services that plant and tear out annuals every six weeks.

  2. Thanks, Lora. You'll love Sorin's book. And I do hope and wish that you'll be able to create a garden of your own again! When we thought about a new urban place, we quickly realized that a condo downtown was NOT going to do it, even though our screen was being close to downtown Asheville.


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

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