Need a New View of Gardening?

Even the Olympics could not provide a complete escape from the seemingly countless problems the world faces today. And, with the polarization of our country, I wonder if some people were even able to agree with their counterparts on supporting Team USA.


The state of things makes me want to withdraw and shut everything out. But, unlike the ostrich, I am unable to put my head in the sand.

But there is good news. My gardens provide shelter and distraction from this ever more ominous news — my metaphorical head in the sand. We can find or create getaways right in our own back yards!

As you begin your new gardening season, identify the top one or two things you would most like to have. A new seating area? A new water feature? Veggies? A rose covered arbor? Maybe it is simply a bed of new plants. Perhaps you want to try to grow a Japanese maple. If you do, good luck! It would do best in a protected location in a container of some sort, not in our soil.

It doesn’t matter what it is that you have wanted but have not undertaken in the past. This year, do it. Make it your escape. It can be something that you learn from, relax in, share with others or something you keep a secret.

In my view, gardens are not burdens, extra work or obligatory because of the neighbors. Like our homes, work, hobbies and other interests, they help define us and give us another means to express our uniqueness. In my case, having no artistic ability, that is where I can be creative. And, like art, you may not like my gardens, but I do them first for myself. It is simply a plus if you also like them.

Key to enjoying this activity is not becoming a slave to it. No one makes you garden. If you garden, no one makes you cultivate every square inch of your grounds. If I felt that I needed to play golf five days a week, I would not like it either.

I would like to be as good a golfer as I was when I was younger, but that would require more practice, playing and therefore time. I would love to have a large veggie garden for fresh produce in my back yard to eat in season and to put up for winter use. But that would require more time and effort on my part. Over the years I have found the amount of time and effort that makes golf and gardening the most enjoyable for me.

We all need our escapes from that which surrounds us. If you enjoy the relaxation that a nice garden provides but don’t think you enjoy gardening, think about it again.

Perhaps an adjustment in your approach or expectations is in order. Sometimes we get in ruts and an examination of the situation sheds different light on it.


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