Why do We Garden?

How strange that so many of us are compelled to do something that can be so tedious, that is such hard, dirty and repetitive work. The endless battle with persistent weeds that we know is doomed to failure. The weeds will still be there when we are long gone.

Why Do We Garden - Blooming Garden

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you do it? Can you remember when you first started and why?

Many years ago, when I was very young and had my first garden, I was determined to be as good a gardener as my parents and grandparents. I took it for granted that if you had a garden then you dug it. I found a very old gardening book, published in the 1940s, in a second hand book shop and determined to teach myself the black art of gardening.  But oh, what hard work it all seemed.  And how impossible to fulfill all the tedious tasks that were set out for each month. The chapter on digging almost made me give up altogether. It was called:  BASTARD TRENCHING. I promise you, this is what it was called. With many diagrams, it showed you how to dig up your whole garden and then move it on a foot or two. Whoever invented this method of digging up the garden and moving it about? You never hear anything about   ‘bastard trenching’ now.   The name says it all. The illustrations in this book showed an old gardener in a cap, with a pipe in his mouth and clearly a hinge in his back.

And then there was LAWN CARE. According to our friend in the cap, you cannot call yourself a gardener if you don’t spend vast amounts of energy, money and noxious chemicals in turning your lawn into a velvety, greensward. The rolling and stabbing and raking and spraying that went on in that book made me feel quite exhausted. Anyway, I like daisies.

I found another old gardening book, presumably written from the perspective of the employer of the man in the cloth cap. I can’t remember much about it, just the wonderful sentence: ’No matter how small your kitchen garden, always set aside a quarter of an acre for potatoes’. I imagined this man grandly giving out orders to finish the bastard trenching, plant hundreds of potatoes and then spray the brassicas with DDT. Just imagine having an estate with something as magical as a walled kitchen garden and filling it up with potatoes and bastard trenches. Not to mention annoying, know-all gardeners with caps and pipes.

I hate to say this, but these dreary books could only have been written by men. And men with no poetry in their souls.  Where is the magic in bastard trenching? To gardeners like this, gardening was all about control. You don’t work with nature, you control it and poison it and batter it into submission. Maybe we have moved on from this idea of the natural world being something which must be tamed and poisoned and bent to our will. I do hope so.  But I suspect that one reason that some people garden is still a need to control their environment. Perhaps this is understandable in a hostile, unpredictable world.

But to most of us, and I am sure this goes for all my blogging friends; it is something else that keeps us digging and weeding and sweating.  Firstly, I believe, it is a desire to be part of the natural world and to work with it, rather than against it.  We grow food to nourish our families and in return find spiritual nourishment. I don’t like the word ‘spiritual’, it sounds ‘new ageish’ or religious and I am neither. But still, many of us are pantheists at heart. Long before the religions of the Near East spread their (not always benign, in fact very often extremely pernicious) tentacles across the world, our ancestors felt a presence in stones and trees and worshipped them.  For centuries, gardening was an attempt to create paradise on earth.  And still we do it today.  To most of us our little patch is our own little Eden. These days, most of us are keen to create an unpolluted Eden; a little bit of earth that we can nurture, on our poor raped and exploited planet.  It started with many of us having just a small corner devoted to wildlife and then gradually we realised that the whole ecosystem of the garden is delicately balanced and we couldn’t use herbicides and insecticides and keep a healthy environment.  The whole garden needs protecting and what a privilege it is to share it with the local wildlife. It’s as much theirs as ours. I have to admit I used to use slug pellets now and then, until I realised that the active ingredient, metaldehyde builds up in the soil and is beginning to show up in the water we drink. Besides, what agony the slug must suffer as he dissolves into slime. And  disgustingly, there is so much of it . Poisoning them always used to make me feel really guilty. It made me think of Lady Macbeth saying ‘Yet who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him?’ after murdering Duncan.  Except for blood, read slime. And slugs do have a use; they eat up all the waste and debris. I have found I can keep them off special plants by surrounding them with a cordon sanitaire of coffee grounds.

Moles and badgers make a mess off the lawn but I feel privileged to have  beautiful badgers in the garden. As for moles, the mole hills are unsightly but if you have been brought up on Wind in the Willows you can’t help feeling affection for dear old Moley. Anyway, molehills are a great source of ready -sieved soil.

Mole and Badger. Arthur Rackham

Mole and Badger.
Arthur Rackham

Squirrels are a nuisance and they have their own ideas about tulip planting and like to rearrange them. But fair enough, they have to look at them more than I do and from a different perspective. I’m not allowed to plant  new crocus corms,  every single one gets confiscated, although existing ones are permitted. Walnuts are for squirrels only, they are not prepared to share them at all, any surplus gets buried. But however irritated I get by their rules, I love watching them. They bring the garden to life with their acrobatics.

I must admit I don’t have a laissez-faire attitude to all my pests; lily and asparagus beetles are picked off every day in summer and squashed by hand, but I never use chemicals.

I went to a talk by Rory Stuart a couple of years ago. He wrote the book ‘ What are Gardens for?‘ There was a discussion about why we garden and he suggested that many of us are trying to recreate a magical Eden remembered from our childhood. It was interesting how many hands went up and how many people said that they have never forgotten their grandparents’ gardens and they were always trying to capture the remembered magic from long ago. Maybe  many of us are trying to recreate the golden days of our childhood when the sun always shone and the flowers were brighter and the landscape magical. That would explain the perennial appeal of the book ‘The Secret Garden’. In my next post I will tell you about my secret garden from long ago.

Meanwhile, please tell us why you garden. I suspect that for most of you, it’s because like me, you can’t not. It’ s hard, dirty and frustrating at times. But utterly compulsive.

Many thanks to lovely Beatrice for the picture of me battling with weeds with little Hector looking on.

 

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71 Responses to Why do We Garden?

  1. Lovely Beatrice and Hector, indeed. The appeal of gardening is difficult to quantify, for me, I am sure there is a farmer gene. My grandfather was a peach farmer, my mother, a great gardener, her grandmother a great gardener. There is a certain curiosity that cuts across all social and racial lines – will I get something beautiful if I plant this seed? I was always amazed at the diversity of people who showed up for a garden tour just to see what everyone else was growing.

  2. Brian Skeys says:

    My inspiration came from my grandparents large garden, we lived next door, I don’t think I realised how hard they worked. I think the old books were written for people who could employ staff, so that they could issue instructions. I am a great believer in the no dig garden but find it almost impossible to convince committed diggers!

  3. Sam says:

    What a fabulous post. Both my parents detest gardening themselves but they admire my efforts. My dad says it’s because he was made to help his dad with his vegetable growing. My paternal grandmother loved to garden, so I like to think it skipped a generation and came to me. I do it because it makes me happy. I adore plants. Growing something from seed is exciting – visiting the greenhouse to find out if they’ve germinated, tending the seedlings, etc. I love trying out different planting combinations and it’s thrilling when a plan comes together. Gardening should be prescribed to anxious, unhappy people. I love your daughter’s illustration of you and Hector although I’m sure you don’t look that cross very often 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      I agree, the excitement of growing plants from seed is compelling. Dreaming up successful planting schemes that work out even more beautiful than you expected. There is nothing like it. However stressed or worried you are, gardening sorts everything out.
      Beatrice was tryinging to make me look hot and bothered and exasperated by the endless weeed problem.

  4. Yes, my reasons for gardening are similar to yours. My grandmothers were gardening dabblers, but my great-aunt and grandmother were into it a little more. Then, I really got into it when we bought our first house and property–I was hooked! Your reflections on the evolution of western gardening rang true. And I agree: I can’t not garden. 😉

  5. I garden because it’s the perfect combination of the cerebral, physical, and artistic. It allows me to make the world a better place while also creating beauty and clearing my head. I love it!!

  6. Christina says:

    My father loved gardening, my mother had no interest what so ever. Gardening makes me happy and content in a way nothing else does; I agree with you I don’t think that I could not garden. As to the books and practices of the past; at a time when a team of gardeners were employed it was necessary to keep them busy during the winter months when not much else could be done so they were made to dig to not have idle young men causing trouble. this was a terrible mistake because digging is actually very bad for the soil, causing damage to the structure that can take years to rectify.

    • Chloris says:

      We realise now that digging destroys the structure of the soil but back then, digging was considered vital. Thank goodness, gardening ideas have moved on. Also we now know , that a reliance on chemicals is bad for the environment and for our health too.

  7. homeslip says:

    Oh, all of these Chloris. My grandparents on my mother’s side had a wonderful garden. I still remember the taste of their carrots pulled from the ground and the greenhouse grown cucumbers thinly sliced in sandwiches. My mother’s garden was beautiful too. She was an artist and used to photograph the garden and join the photos together to make a whole. Every visit home started with a walk around the garden. I’ve always gardened organically (I like to feel I was ahead of the curve with my first garden). I don’t dig, make it a rule not to buy anything in a plastic bottle from the garden centre, do not use slug pellets and adore my clover and Daisy and celandine studded mossy lawn. I love making compost and am convinced it is the secret to a beautiful and healthy garden. Yes, it is hard work sometimes, but it is so much fun and the end result is more than worth it. Fantastic illustration of you and adorable Hector.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Sarah, what a great comment. I agree with all your points. I have gardened organically for years. The idea of using chemicals on your food has always struck me as dangerous. Compost is the answer . Every proper gardener makes compost.

  8. croftgarden says:

    As a child of the inner city there was no magic childhood garden, but my father introduced me to the natural world on bike rides to the countryside. So where does the gardening come from? Is it the influence of the few remaining Irish peasant genes or something more elemental? I think the reasons are more complex and I shall think about them as I head off for another day of muck spreading, but no trenching bastard or otherwise.
    Thank you for another interesting and beautifuly contructed article – or to quote my now departed old dad “a scholar and a gentleman” – which he always applied equally to both sexes and was a great compliment.

  9. rusty duck says:

    Your latest portrait is brilliant!
    I garden because I need a challenge. Always have done. I suppose that is why I chose a 45 deg slope of almost pure clay in one of the wettest parts of the country and with a population of critters bent only upon unpicking everything I try to do. I have learnt that there is no point trying to fight it. For every mouse we have trapped in the past there are at least two others waiting in the wings to vie for the space. So I bury my bulbs in wire cages and hope for the best. The squirrels I can keep busy with fairground rides. The deer though.. there are now three in residence. I have absolutely no idea what to do about those.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Jessica, the lovely thing about having your portrait painted by Beatrice is that she removes all your wrinkles. Instant botox.
      I know you have particular challenges with your slope and your teeming, hungry wildlife. Still nothing deters you and you keep your readers entertained with your constant battles with squirrels where you are always outwitted. It’ s not just that they outwit you, but they laugh at you. In the circumstances, I think it is very kind of you to provide them with fairground rides.

  10. My garden is where I converse with nature and view her beauty on both sides of my fence,

    I wrote this on my blog on ‘My Solitude garden’ page, I have edited it slightly, I need to be with the natural world, I garden here to create a garden for wildlife that does not have many friendly places where I live, I had hopes, my gardening mojo is failing me in 2016, not nature, not weeds and pests but the weather has worn me down, I still though need to be with nature, it is my ‘I can’t not’,

    I have never used poisons except for fly killer in the house, the thrushes are good slug garden helpers, I do since finding out a peaty soil is low in nutrients use fertilizers as I can’t make enough compost for the garden’s needs and there is none to buy locally,

    on the family history side, my grandparents died before I was born so no ‘my grandparents garden’ stories, their lives though did not include gardening, as others have said I think your gardener with his flat cap and pipe worked for the Lord of the manner, I have read that the two wars and death of so many men caused a big change in the world of gardening as the Lords and Ladies could not get cheap staff any more,

    interesting post, Frances

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Frances. Can you collect seaweed from the beach for fertiliser? Or are you not near enough? We have had awful winds and rain this winter and I know it is always much worse up where you live. I should find it difficult to keep up my gardening enthusiasm with the sort of weather you have to endure. I believe you had no sort of summer at all last year. Let’ s hope this year will be different.

      • thank you, we have had no summer for the last 2 years, I think it was the repeat last year and an even worse winter that is now affecting the whole UK that has had such an effect on me,
        regarding seaweed, this is a worrying point, perhaps I should write a post about, I used to collect seaweed every January and February, but since we have had these bad extra stormy winters there has been little or no seaweed washed up, I have heard/read that seaweed is declining due to ‘who knows what’ we can see the affects of change on land but not beneath the water, Frances

  11. What a brilliant post, the comments are fascinating, too. I agree with so much of what you so eloquently say, not least that whatever sparks a love for gardens filled with happy, beautiful plants of any description can grow into a passion. I’m often in agreement with Eeyore, “a weed is a flower too” If I remember the Rory Stuart correctly, he said (even) a bed of lettuces can be designed to look beautiful ….

  12. Flighty says:

    A most enjoyable post which had me nodding and smiling.
    I come from a family of gardeners and I’ve always enjoyed gardening, but have to admit that I’ve always been a bit of a lazy gardener. I think that above all you have to be an eternal optimist.
    As Kate says the other comments are interesting. xx

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Mike. You are quite right, gardening is indeed a triumph of hope over experience. Each fresh year will be the one that nothing will get eaten or succumb to disease. Everything will be perfect this year with just enough rain at night and lovely sunny days and perfect, abundant produce.

  13. Tina says:

    Great post, Chloris. Why do we garden? Because we’re driven to do so. Like you, my parents were gardeners and it seems to be a thing that is passed along–like many of the plants we grow. The drawing of you and Hector is charming! I’ll have that same look on my face in the next couple of hours.

    • Chloris says:

      That’ s exactly it Tina, we are all driven to it. I don’ t know any garden blogger who doesn’ t feel the same. And if we are not doing it, we are reading about it or writing about it.

  14. Julie says:

    I love your portrait, its quite voluptuous! But I bet you do not have such a cross face when you garden. My parents, grandparents, great grandparents were all gardeners, My great grandfather came back from the war and was sent to what is now known as a Horticultural Therapy centre and from there became a very talented veg grower, I have some of his certificates and medals here. I left the corporate world 10 years ago and now work as gardener, spending 7 years in a manor house where once there was a team but the new owners just had me, they were some of the happiest and physically hardest days of employment in my whole working life. Snow, rain, high winds are all forgiven for a ray of sunshine under an Apple tree in blossom, there is nothing so utterly uplifting as seeing the seasons close up and the cycle of life play out. Its just the most joyous way to live life.

    • Chloris says:

      My portrait is very flattering, for a start my wrinkles have miraculously disappeared. I do look cross and hot and bothered when I am digging up ground elder which is all over my garden.
      Gardening is a wonderful way to spend your life. You are so in touch with the seasons, nature and wildlife. Your great love of wildlife shows in all your posts. I always learn something from you.

  15. Excellent post. I think our views are very similar. Gardening gives me peace, even when it drives me crazy. It enables me to at least try to create a little kingdom of life, benevolence, and beauty. When I need to calm down, nothing works better than to go out and watch bumblebees on the flowers.

  16. Kris P says:

    Another blogger recently asked a similar question, which sent me round and round looking for the origins of my own interest in gardening. Unlike many others, I didn’t have role models among family members. My father puttered a bit in the garden but he died when I was 6 and I don’t have any significant memories of experiences shared with him there, unless you count once being stung by a bee, which could hardly be construed as positive. My mother and stepfather had no interest in gardening and I had no grandparents that exerted an influence. As I recall, my gardening experience began with small indoor plants around my middle school years. I don’t recall receiving my first plant but I have to guess that it was the gateway drug that led me to tend larger and larger numbers of indoor plants and, when circumstances permitted, led me outside. However, what keeps me there is many of the factors you’ve mentioned – the communion with nature, the peace associated with the process, and the sense of being a part of something larger than myself.

    • Chloris says:

      And now you are well and truly hooked and a plantaholic too. I would love to come on one of your nursery jaunts with you. I always enjoy seeing what you have bought.

  17. Julie says:

    I have been out in the garden today digging in the dirt with cold fingers and muddy dogs pondering your question Chloris – why do I do it? For me it is all about joy – the joy of the changing seasons and the sheer unadulterated pleasure that I get from seeing my beautiful plants looking their best and nature enjoying the environment I help to create. I also love the optimism gardening brings to my life – there will be another spring and things are always going to be better next year – what more could I ask for (apart from a library and a wood burner for rainy days of course!).

    • Chloris says:

      I agree, Julie, life doesn’ t get much better does it? Specially at this time of the year with spring in the air. Perhaps in a month or so we should meet up for another nursery jaunt.

  18. I spent summers with my grandparents on their small New England farm and they were gardeners – veggies and flowers. In my working years, I always had a few pots of annuals, foundation plantings, a small flower garden and maybe a few veggies. When I retired, it was like gardening took over my soul. I live to garden. To go out in the spring, rake the leaves off and see shoots coming up, it just fills me with hope. I love gardening. I view it a lot like the journey of life because there is a cycle that includes highs and lows and you go along for the adventure. 🙂

  19. My mother’s parents lived in a council house and their whole garden was put down to vegetables, but it was a thing of beauty and I spent many happy holidays shucking peas, plaiting onions and picking blackcurrants etc. My dad’s mother was a compulsive cutting and seed collector, from other people’s gardens. So I guess that is where I get the obsession from. I was thinking that with your great stories and Beatrice’s lovely pictures a book is in the making!

    • Chloris says:

      It’ s in your genes too then Allison. Thank you, I would love to write a gardening book. Actually I have drawers full of half finished novels. I have written things all my life, but the only things I have ever had published are a few gardening articles. But it it is great to have a blog as an outlet.

  20. Dear Chloris, I do hope you can join our Year of the Bean blogging day this week (the 17th) because I look forward to reading you again! I laughed (truly) out loud at the story of the potatoes (a 1/4 acre??? I get more than we need from a couple of Smart Bags!). It’s useful to hear that many environmentally unsound practices happened elsewhere, not just in the U.S., and have been going on for many years. But we can turn this around! Thank you for your witty reminders about why we need to garden better. Thx for sharing!

  21. Chloris says:

    Thank you Lori, I don’t t know whether I can get my ideas together in time to join your Year of the Bean Blogging Day, but I shall certainly enjoy reading what you and everyone else has to say. What a fun idea!

  22. Angie says:

    I won’t say I garden because I inherited my grandfather’s love of gardening but will say that I now appreciate why he spent so much time out in his garden. My reason for gardening is perhaps unconventional. It was meant as a means to encourage me to give up the cigarettes but there must have been something deep down that made me choose gardening rather than an alternative past time.

    • Chloris says:

      Well, that’ s a new one on me – gardening to give up cigarettes. I think you were very wise; gardening will give you a lifetime’ s pleasure and it is healthy.

  23. What a fabulous post Chloris – and what a fabulous portrait too! I can no longer imagine life without gardening, but when I was growing up I thought it tedious beyond words. My parents liked to garden but all I saw was the weeding. I also used to cry when my dad pruned the roses back, convinced they would die, and apparently ran out in to the garden and tried to protect the daffodils from the wind because they were being flattened. So perhaps it was always in my blood. I didn’t have a garden until my early thirties, but I took to it like a duck to water and have never looked back. I love the creativity, the rhythm, the seasonality, the way it makes me notice things, small things, that I would always have ignored. I love the way you can make more plants from seeds and cuttings, that you can create patterns of texture and colour that make you grin. I will never have a conventionally perfect lawn, but padding through long grass littered with daisies in bare feet to pick raspberries, salad leaves, peas and beans, is something I would miss tremendously were something to stop me from gardening. And through my years of chronic illness gardening helped me stay sane and connect to a lovely community of like minded individuals to get enthusiasm, encouragement, knowledge and ideas from.

  24. Cathy says:

    I love that new portrait of you and Hector, and thoroughly enjoyed reading your post Chloris. My grandfather was a ‘market gardener’ growing fruit and veg for local shops and markets. And my Mum inherited his green fingers. But my interest in gardening started rather late in life when I finally had my own garden and realised how relaxing, rewarding and interesting it is being surrounded by plants and wildlife. The fascination of plant names linked in well with my fascination for language too, and the obsession began!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Cathy. Well, there you are, even if you came to it late, it was in your blood.
      Like you, I love words and the proper names for plants are musical.

  25. pbmgarden says:

    Enjoyed reading your post. When I need to sort things out, spending time in the garden helps me put things in perspective. And, sometimes there are flowers and butterflies..

  26. gardenfancyblog says:

    Chloris, What a thoughtful post you have written! I’m not sure why I garden, even though I’ve often asked myself this question. Even though my mother is a botanist, she has a very shady yard where very few flowers grow and I am enamored of all the flowers that I can grow in my mostly-sunny garden. I do remember visiting formal gardens at the university where my parents worked, and perhaps I am trying to re-create those spaces here…. And I understand what you mean about some people needing to control their yards, but every gardener must do this in actuality. Gardens are artificial by their very nature, and I sure wouldn’t want the completely uncontrolled yard full of weeds and volunteer trees that would be the result of a hands-off approach. My natural laziness means that I don’t use many chemicals or till/dig beds unless they are severely compacted, etc., but I think trying to make my gardens more beautiful (and this is certainly controlling them) is a main reason I do garden. I want to control the amount of beauty I can experience here — mostly trying to maximize it. Thanks for your post and the questions that have elicited so many deeply thought comments from so many people — and I love the Bastard Trenching term, which I had not heard before (apparently the BBC mistakenly apologized for Alan Titschmarsh using the term on TV a few years back, to the disgust of many experienced gardeners….). Best, -Beth

    • Chloris says:

      And thank you Beth for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment.
      Of course gardening is about control, but these days, most of us who love our gardens try to keep a light hand and work with nature rather than fighting it. We want it to look natural rather than regimented and battered into submission.

  27. A fabulous post (are we long-lost relatives? lol)! Unlike some, I had zero “positive exposure” to plants as a child growing up in 1950s suburbia. No gardening relatives, friends or even neighbors. No flowers in the yard except for the small yellow snapdragons and orange tritoma scattered among the clover, oxalis and plaintain mixed in with the grass that my dad mowed once a week. Even when I had my first house (early 1970s) my first plant interest was of the indoor variety (all those wonderful windows, lol). It was a chance meeting with an avid gardener at a local orchid society show that first launched the interest that eventually became an obsession. By that time I was in my early 30s. Interestingly, my son who then grew up with a gardenholic mother 😉 has developed the “plant bug” at exactly the same age as I did despite having zero interest in any of it beforehand. So the question remains: is it usually nature, or nuture? 🙂

  28. Fascinating…’BASTARD TRENCHING’. I think I might call it worse and never do it. I garden to be in nature…to watch it, to find solace in it…to be overwhelmed by its beauty and wonder.

  29. AnnetteM says:

    A great post, Chloris and I have enjoyed reading all the comments too. My Dad was a keen gardener and we always had large gardens to play in. I did have my own bit of garden for a while as a child, but I don’t remember helping out much overall I’m ashamed to say. I think my interest really took off once I had a garden of my own to look after and especially once I retired a few years ago and had more time. I think the best bit is the anticipation of trying out a new plant, waiting to see how well it does.

    • Chloris says:

      I think we all really come into gardening once we have our own garden to care for. I agree, trying out a new plant, specially one you have grown from seed, is incredibly exciting.

  30. I relate very strongly to your post, Chloris. Thank you. In a future book, Beloved Gardens, I describe the magic of my mother’s small garden under a bedroom window, and how I carried that garden in my heart all the way to when my husband and I bought our first home. I still think gardens are a form of magic — it’s no use telling me the science of it.
    And I don’t like garden pests either, but I, too, have decided that they are among the many things I can’t control. I’ve surrendered.

  31. Peter/Outlaw says:

    A special post, Chloris! Neither of my parents were gardeners but my grandparents on both sides were and three of my four siblings and I are. There are fond childhood memories of quite a few people in my tiny home town gardening and sharing their gardens with me. Seems I’ve always been interested in growing things and fascinated by foliage and flowers. We garden because we can. It’s also interesting to note the change from dominion to stewardship of our pieces of Eden.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Peter. I was interested to hear that you, too, have childhood memories of gardens. I am enjoying reading about the different reasons people garden. I think for most of us it goes back to childhood memories.

  32. Cathy says:

    Imogen has a lot to answer for, stopping you from going out and gardening and giving you a vacuum to fill with such thought provoking writing. I have returned to it several times since you wrote it, reading the comments and trying to put my own experience into perspective. I am afraid I shall just have to sum it up the same as you did – because I have to. Far more to it than that of course – but it would take a 10,000 word dissertation to do it justice, methinks! Thanks for such a thought provoking discussion

  33. Chloris says:

    Thank you Cathy. Most of the garden bloggers I follow are thoughtful sort of people and I love reading about their thoughts on subjects like this. I do agree, in a short comment one can only touch on the subject. Indeed, after I had finished and posted this, I thought of other things I could have mentioned. Perhaps it is a subject to revisit one day, with someone else putting their views.

  34. Debra says:

    Thank you. I really enjoyed reading this post.

  35. I love this! Of the many reasons, my fundamental motivation is connection–to people, plants, wildlife, and the earth itself–and the links those connections make to both past and the future. Gardeners are great sharers…and, like you, I hope/think collective thinking is moving us in a better direction ecologically. Even still, the first question I get after a gardening presentation is almost always how to kill or eliminate a particular “pest” from the garden. I can’t say I’m different, but it grabs my attention.

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