African Garden + winter

Why I Garden - Revisited

Although I wrote a post on this subject last year, I wanted to revisit it in light of a contest being held by Mary Ann (formerly of Idahogardener and now of Gardens of The Wild, Wild West). There will be prizes, so make sure you enter before December 21.
It's good to stop occasionally and ponder the why of it all, what is it about gardening that keeps me interested, involved, dare I say committed , to gardening after all these years, with no end in sight. It could be because the garden is always new and different, day to day, year to year, with changing conditions ( e.g. , suddenly more sun from a downed tree), new styles of planting and new plants to try.

Double black Peony-flowered Poppy, making its first, but not last appearance at Squirrelhaven
I t never gets old and boring.
Gardening is my favorite form of exercise. Believe it or not, I'd rather spend all day pulling weeds or digging up concrete than go to a gym and walk on a treadmill or lift weights.
Gardening is an act of defiance against a mechanized world that increasingly disassociates itself from nature. It's about nurturing life: plant, animal and human.

It's about trying to compensate for the damage inflicted on our fragile, precious planet.
It's emotional therapy. Just wandering in the garden raises my spirits and heals my soul.
Gardening refreshes my sense of wonder. There's always something new and miraculous happening in the garden from the tiny sprouts pushing their way out of the earth from the seeds I've sown,

to a plant suddenly blooming out of season.
It's a connection to God, through the beauty of creation.
I can't paint or draw, so the garden is my way of expressing myself artistically, as a sculpture in a fourth dimension: time. Now that I've started welding, I want to make sculptures that function as a part of the garden, not something plopped into it. The garden is also my studio for photography. Plants don't complain that they don't want their picture taken, they don't make faces or get embarrassed when you show off their portraits. They don't run off to bark at a squirrel.

the neighbor's puppy, Stout
It's an act of faith in the future. Anyone who plants a tree is an optimist.
Gardening is a way to connect with other people. I may have nothing in common with someone other than gardening, and we can talk for hours. How else could I have flown across the country by myself to a place I'd never been (Austin, Texas) to be with people I'd never met (Spring Fling 2008) and had a fantastic time and made so many friends?

Diana (Sharing Nature's Garden), Layanee (Ledge and Gardens), Carol (May Dreams Gardens), Dee (Red Dirt Ramblings), Pam (Digging), Cindy (From My Corner of Katy) from Spring Fling 2009
How else could I correspond with people in other countries I've never visited, whose lives are so different from mine that they even use different words for things everyday things, like cookies?
I garden because I have to do so. I can't stop myself from gardening. I've actually found myself about to pull weeds in public gardens. I'm seriously addicted to plants, the acquisition of plants, the placement of plants, and the experience of plants. I like to smell them and touch them. I like to groom them, prune them, deadhead and dead leaf them. I can get into "the Zone" more easily while gardening than doing anything else.
But more than anything else, I garden for the anticipation. Looking forward to something is always better than the reality of having that thing.

Tree Peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) 'Ofujinishiki'
With gardening there is always something for which to look forward. It's what keeps us Northern gardeners going through the winter. That's reason enough to go on living, even when I get old and frail. I want to be like Katharine White, planting spring bulbs while dying of cancer, knowing she probably wouldn't live to see them flower, but hoping that she just might. And that's not a bad way to live a life. Why do you garden?

art, better, blooming, favorite, garden, garden philosophy, gardening, good, plant, plants, ramblings, Spring, things, time, and more:

Why I Garden - Revisited + winter