Musings about Gardening or What is Gardening after all?

We gardeners follow a long line of gardeners who have come before us.

I find a certain comfort in the thought that gardening is a link to a community of gardeners, both past and present.

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A photo simply called ‘Garden of Eden’ [Courtesy of Tiffani Boinkski]

Many writers have pointed out that Adam and Eve were the first to garden. Eden was the first garden.

Here are three quotes about the garden that inspire me.

Grace Tabor in her book Old-Fashioned Gardening,written in 1913, said: “Garden making is a primitive art; nothing indeed antedates it as an occupation, whatever one’s favorite authority may be. So we may confidently say that it was in making gardens that man first gave expression to himself.”

Randall Schultz’s recent online garden newsletter Home, Garden and Homestead News includes a quote that I like. Eric Lautzenheiser, former director of the San Antonio Botanical Garden, said, “People are afraid they will make mistakes. Who’s to say what’s good taste and bad taste? We’re overly concerned with what’s proper in plant selection—gardening is supposed to be recreation.”

Candace Wheeler in her 1901 book Content in a Garden wrote: “We are comparatively unlearned in the comfort and content of the garden if we suppose that it begins and ends with the delight of the eye. It is true that that is the thing which first attracts us, the thing we are first aware of, but when we live in the garden we find ourselves constantly growing into a most subtle knowledge of the different ways of beauty.”

Two old quotes and one new one tell us that gardening is self-expression, gardening is process, and gardening is art.  Sounds to me that gardening is a lot like life itself.

 

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