Hurray! At long last, after a record-breaking cold and snowy winter (in many locations), spring has arrived!
I realize things have been a bit slow on the blogging front lately, and I apologize. Thanks for hanging in there! We’ve been plugging away getting some new and exciting things going on on our website, and now I plan to catch up on the blog here.
Speaking of which, in honor of this wonderful season, I will be posting a new series on starting your own sustainable garden over the next few weeks.
This series is mostly designed for the new gardener, but we will also get into some more advanced stuff as the weeks progress (such as composting, organic pest control, and more). So be sure to check back and see what’s new, even if the early posts are a bit elementary for some of you!
Our first topic is a bit on the philosophical side, but hopefully will put you in the right frame of mind to begin your own gardening odyssey!
Why Do We Garden?
I don’t know what it is about a garden that has always drawn humans to them. But they’ve always been very popular, and an valued part of peoples’ lives. Most religions feature gardens as the settings for some of the most important events. According to Christianity, humanity was started in a garden and the son of God was resurrected in a garden. The Buddhists build gardens to allow nature to permeate their surroundings. Almost every major palace and government building has a garden. But what’s so great about them? They’re just a bunch of plants, after all, right?
Of course, the reasoning is fairly obvious behind why people grow food in gardens. It’s to eat! If you live off the fat of the land and really survive mostly or even partially on stuff from your garden, it’s easy to understand the reasoning. But what about those people who plant flower gardens just for the sake of looking nice? There’s no immediate benefit that I can see; you just have a bunch of flowers in your yard! However, after thinking extensively about the motive behind planting decorative gardens, I’ve come up with several possible ideas.
I think one of the reasons people love gardens so much is that while we have a instinctive desire to progress and industrialize, deep inside all of us is a primal love for nature. While this desire might not be as strong as the desire for a modern lifestyle, it is still strong enough to compel us to create gardens, small oases of nature, in the midst of all our hustle and bustle.
Being in nature feels like regressing to an earlier (and simpler) stage of humanity, and in a garden, we too can escape to a time of comfort and utter happiness. This is why gardens are so relaxing and calming to be in. This is why gardens are a such good place to meditate and do tai chi exercises. A garden is a way to quickly escape from the busy world.
I’ve thought at times that perhaps we as humans feel a sort of responsible guilt driving us to restore nature and care for it. This guilt could stem from the knowledge that we, not personally but as a race, have destroyed so much of the natural world to get where we are today. It’s the least we can do to build a small garden in remembrance of all the plants we kill every day. It’s my theory that this is an underlying reason why many people to take up gardening as a hobby.
Gardening is definitely a healthy habit though, don’t get me wrong. Any hobby that provides physical exercise, helps the environment, and improves your diet can’t be a negative thing. So no matter what the underlying psychological cause for gardening is, I think that everyone should continue to do it. In the USA especially, which is dealing with obesity and pollution as its two major problems, I think gardening can only serve to improve the state of the world.
Of course I’m no psychologist; I’m just a curious gardener. I’ve often wondered what draws me to the garden…. What is it that makes me go outside for a few hours every day (or whenever possible!) with my gardening tools, and facilitate the small-time growth of plants that would grow naturally on their own? I may never know, but in this case ignorance really is bliss.
So how do you go about starting your own garden, especially if you barely know a hoe from a trowel?
Over the next few weeks, I will provide a step-by-step guide to starting your own garden. Whether you are working with limited space, or have a large area available, whether you are interested in fruit, vegetables, or flowers, I hope you will find these tips helpful.
Keep your eye out for the next post, to learn about the first step to starting your own sustainable garden!
In the meantime, you can always find sustainable gardening tips and resources on our main website at http://www.newholisticliving.com/sustainablegardening.html.
Thanks to all of you who have visited through the past few slow months, and we appreciate each and every one of you! As always, we’d love your comments and feedback, so feel free to post!
See you next time!