Monday, July 12, 2010

Gardening - Nature, Nurture, or Just Crazy

My passion for gardening has evoked a lot of folks to look at me with wonder - wondering why I do this thing called gardening.  I guess I had some soul searching to do as others went on vacations or to a upscale restaurant occasionally and I spent my time and money in the garden.

I presented this at a an Ohio Association of Garden Clubs Region 3 Meeting
What I came up with are these four reasons.

The Wonder 

The Soil - the smell, the feel, the texture, the unseen life within




The first spring shoots emerging after a long winter






The Beauty - of the leaves, the blossoms, the forms, the textures, the aroma, the colors, the growing, and the changing day after day




The rewards - the vegetables, the blossoms




The Knowledge

I love to learn.  The life cycles of plants, the life of the soil, the conditions that support that life - all intrigue me. I read books about plants,organic fertilizers, pesticides, climate - any aspect that may affect my hobby.

The Hope

I come to appreciate Patience.  Wait for it! 
Optimism.  I hold to the idea that each will grow and become mature each season - and if not - wait till next year.

I learned that disappointment comes with gardening, too: When the weather, either wind, heat, cold or rain damage the garden;  When the rabbits or squirrels, or dogs, or kids, or hoses or bugs wipe out a section.








The Commitment

Gardening is not always fun or convenient.  We need to water, feed and care for our space even when we don't feel like it. 

 In spite of the UV damage, the wrinkles, the broken fingernails, the sore shoulders, the bruises, the bee stings and sunburn we continue to be faithful to this quest.  No amount of watering or 'take out' dinners because we are too busy or too tired to cook can discourage us.



So why do I garden?  Because it is beautiful. Because I nurture. Because life is a wonder and wonderful. Because I realize I am not the source or the center; and because life is treasured - even for a season.



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