>> Monday, March 5, 2007
Being perpetual students of gardening and nature, my wife and I enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, bird watching, and witnessing the complexity in the simple beauty that is nature.
In the past, my inner steward-of-the-land had been given only fleeting opportunities to practice gardening because my job never allowed me to stay in one place for more than a few years at a time. I devoured everything I could get my hands on concerning: companion planting as a means of pest control, square foot gardening, intensive gardening, raised bed gardening, composting, etc. I used those brief moments to test everything I read about gardening but was never able to witness any long-term results.
Having the good fortune to be born and raised in Indiana exposed me to country living and instilled in me a great love of nature. I am proud to say that the mid-west work ethic of dependability, doing what is right for the common good, respect for others, and love of family drives me in everything I do. I learned a great deal from my grandfather and miss him everyday. He is one of the greatest self-made men I have ever known.
We chose to settle in Utah to be near family, even they are scattered across the country, and can now begin a perennial garden. With views of the Wasatch Mountains to the east of us ....
and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west, this valley affords some beautiful distraction when the garden isn’t blooming.
Since retiring, I tend to procrastinate more than I ever did and given my constant need to plan things out on paper and make lists, fueled by the limitless creative ideas I find on the wonderful garden blogs I follow, I am constantly challenged to decide on a final plan.
Growing within my mind is the most beautiful garden landscape possible. The biggest challenge to making that garden a reality is that it changes almost daily.
While my attempts at 'planning the perfect garden' evolves, I have decided to just start planting and see what grows. Some plants have died, but many have survived. I know nature has the final say as to what will grow here, but as long as I can keep learning from past mistakes, I will enjoy my role as student and embrace, and cherish, the lessons that come my way.
My philosophy is simple: Gardening is such a wonderful expression of ‘love of life’ that it simply must be shared, and that if you nurture it, it will nurture you. When we grow things we evolve from mere users of nature into Earth's stewards. So, go out and grow, not just for the beauty you can create for your own pleasure but for the lessons you can learn and for the health of Mother Earth.
I hope you'll join me in my journey deeper into gardening as I try to tame the clay and beautify our world one transplant at a time.