Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why do you garden?

Why Do You Garden?

Really, why does one feel the need to dig in the dirt, spend endless hours weeding, watch things wither without a clue as to why...

flower college

Honestly, I garden from a bag of mixed motives! I'd like to say it's all about nurturing and appreciation for nature, but - alas - my intentions are not quite that simple!

1) I garden because it brings me back to my roots. My Grandma Katherine has been known to win awards for her yard. She had glorious tomatoes, apple trees and lovely flowers (pre-condo days :P). My Grandma Katie (who died when I was in grade 5, and I still miss her!) grew flowers like you wouldn't believe (us kids used to pretend that her gardens were Buchart Gardens from Vancouver Island!) and canned like she was still feeding a family of five. My mother has diligently hauled gallons and gallons of water - by wagon - to the end of their acreage, just to make sure the blooms in their rock garden were getting what they needed. When J and I married, I received a family of gardeners as well. His parents both love the great outdoors, and spend endless hours shaping, tending and adding color to our world.

2) I garden because I love to plan. Plain and simple. I love to order seeds. Get everything organized, lined up, plans drawn (and folks, my vegetable garden is only 8'x16'!!), books read, and so on. I love to bring out my little garden map (of course I NEVER measure anything out, though, so details are not a strong point!) and plant everything in its proper place. Not necessarily properly spaced, by somehow, we get by :).

3) I garden because I enjoy saying "this year, in my garden...". :) 

4) I garden because I enjoy looking out my bedroom window and seeing my leafy green vegetable garden. I find it inspiring.

5) I garden because I feel proud when I get to scrape dirt from under my nails, my tan-lines are a little more earned, I get down on my hands and knees and dig dig dig. There is a huge sense of satisfaction in well-tilled soil.

5) I garden because it reminds me that growth is a process, that it is affected by seasons, that God is a Master Creator, and thateven the smallest efforts can come alive.


I am not a great designer, so flower beds are constantly under renovation! I am not a diligent waterer or weeder (though I start off well and J has kindly installed soaker hoses in the majority of our beds, so I am getting better!). I get overwhelmed and neglectful, but somehow, it's still worth it. Every year I wade through the same process. And every year I wonder why on earth I do this. And every fall, as I pile things into the compost bins or burn the dry stuff, or carry in the last load of treats, I am grateful for the opportunity.

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