Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Red Green Blue

Nandina berries Leucojum and shasta sprouts
Solar light in lemon grass
David Perry has challenged bloggers to post three photos...one red, one green and one blue. Here are my offerings, taken on a depressing post-holiday afternoon. He's right...being outside with my camera lifted my spirits. At least for a little while!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Why I Garden

Mary Ann at Gardens of the Wild Wild West has asked the question "Why do you garden?" My answer is simply "Because I have to." There are a number of things I do because they bring me pleasure and I find them enjoyable. Things like reading, cooking, going to the gym, seeing new places. Gardening is different. It is the thing that gets me out of bed on a beautiful Saturday summer morning and the thing that brings me peace on a foggy midwinter afternoon. It reminds me of being a child...there is so much wonder and reward in a garden. Some years there are major projects that bring change to the garden, some years things are simpler. But always, always there is a sense of belonging, of joy, of purpose...of rightness. I liked playing in the dirt as a child and I guess that is still true. So I garden simply because that is who I am...a gardener.
Of course, there are many rewards resulting from this personality trait. For example, being able to make a meal from things quickly gathered when dinner time suddenly appears. Being able to use a variety of herbs in cooking without having to buy those expensive, too large bunches at the market. Having flowers available just about all year long. Introducing children to the miracle of seeds. Sharing plants with new gardeners. Providing a pleasant place for friends to gather...be they human, avian or insect.
Gardening provides constant entertainment and just like books or movies that entertainment can run the gamut of emotions. Gardens have it all...mystery (where did that come from?), murder and death (I knew I should have watered those yesterday...), humor (I hope no neighbors saw that!), suspense (will this be the system that finally protects my lettuce from those sparrows?), joy (the first tomato!plum!lettuce! of the year), peace (that moment when you suddenly stop with your hands in the dirt, look around and say "Thank you.")
I'd be crazy not to reap all these benefits. And that is the last reward I will mention...if I didn't garden I'd go crazy. The garden feeds my soul as well as my body. I garden because I have to.