Where would I rather be even on a hot and humid day? My garden. l love my garden and I love the open space which exists around me. I love that I don’t live in some Pulte Homes or Toll Brothers development where I would open a window and be able to spit into my neighbor’s kitchen.
Gardening is indeed communing with nature and I swear that connection with Mother Earth puts you closer to God. I revel in each new plant discovery and love finding things that sprouted up from a seed that a breeze or bird dropped along the way – like the Japanese Lantern plants I just found in the middle of some day lilies a few days ago. I also recently discovered some baby hostas that sprang up where I didn’t ever plant any and then there was the toad lily that appeared in the spring where one was never planted. I even discovered a couple of Trillium plants which are among the most beautiful of spring flowers.
I love going to my favorite local nurseries and choosing my plants myself. I love working with my mail order growers on other plants. I love digging in the dirt and planting up a storm and tending everything and watching it grow. I get through the winter pouring through gardening catalogs and gardening books.
I realized recently that I have been re-creating for the past couple of years the gardens of my childhood and aspects of the gardens of others I have always loved. Ironically the woman who would have been my mother in law if she was still alive was an incredible gardener, a true master gardener. When I go through gardening books that belonged to her I love reading the little notes she left in the margins. And yes, I do have a lot of vintage gardening books, I love them just like my cookbooks.
I am not Martha Stewart, or Gertrude Jekyll or C.Z. Guest or Rosemary Verey, I am just me, an average backyard gardener. But I have to tell you it is so glorious to garden that I feel sorry for people who can only manage to dial a phone and hire someone to garden for them (getting “shrubbed” is not gardening!). These people are missing out on so much. So are the people who think gardening is like HGTV and DIY shows along the lines of Yardcore, Going Yard, I Hate My Yard and so on. It’s not.
Trust me, there is life beyond the hardscape with giant fire pit. You want a “bodacious backyard”? Oh my gosh then create one! Yourself. You can do it!
Getting lost in the garden tending to plants and watching to see what kind of birds you have and butterflies is one of the greatest simple pleasures of life.
Go ahead, dig in the dirt. Get your hands dirty. It is s worth it season after season.