I am a town dweller, born and bred, with some rural experiences and tendencies. I am also a child of my era, aware of ecology, climate change, sustainability, diet etc. I do not want to work too hard (hard enough is a different matter) and I would be happy to pay someone to do the work I don’t know/like.
Just as an aside, have you noticed that sometimes if you have a good idea people also expect you to follow through? I would much rather find someone else to (better) execute the action, which would leave me with more time to come up with more ideas… I resent work for the sake of working. I also resent all of us having reasonable ideas which we each reasonably put into reasonable practice, when we could work together and have brilliant ideas brilliantly put into brilliant practice. But maybe that’s just me, lazy 🙂
Anyway, back to our garden. I remember feeling honoured when I was allowed to work in the garden. Plant books were favourites immediately after mythology and folklore. I also remember having favourite plants for different seasons and dreaming of returning to the land.
A part of that dream has come true, I have a small piece of land I can do whatever I (and others) like with. So of course it’s in complete disarray! Because dreaming is one thing, but without a plan, some knowledge and at least some work…. well, I won’t get too far, will I? So off I go to have a read, experiment and learn.
Initial forays into gardening were quite succesful, if on a small scale. I am lucky, of course, that I do not depend on my garden for food, and so the anxiety and urgency and pressure to perform is taken out of the equation. Reading about plants remains as interesting as ever, probably even more so as I can put them in different contexts: genetical, magical, healing, utilitarian. I am even prepared to work hard occasionally. And still it does not gel. A plan, if by this I mean synthetizing all of the above into a “plant this one here, that one there, water, feed, mulch, repeat as necessary” is still needed. Even a lot of knowledge and all the context you can get is still not enough and just lets you tinker around the edges only.
I don’t particularly like “traditional” gardening, I absolutely refuse to put on the soil anything that has NPK on it, I am deeply suspicious of sprays and the like and don’t particularly dislike weeds. I prefer to cram plants in rather than allow spaces in between. I am annoyed with road verges bare of trees or, if they have trees, they are unsuitable for anything but mess. I don’t like waste (of water, food etc.) and I am interested in experimenting with plants, water, animals and so on.
Anyone for permaculture? Or food forest? Function stacking? These appeal on many levels: usefulness, beauty, efficiency, sustainability, interest. Just as soon as I get some FY* money, I will get someone in to advise, to help with a plan, so I can get to work and start seeing a garden that doesn’t need me all that much because it can stand on its own many feet.
Because that would leave me free to dream of a forest with many trees and degrees of beauty, of a meadow with medicinal plants ready to be pounded into health, with vegetables that my vegetarian/vegan friends might find nourishment from…
*FY stands for F**k you and in this context indicates a sum of money that allows you to buy freedom. Think about what that sum might be for you, then do your darnedest to accummulate it. Financial independence, early retirement…