In my work, I have an agenda for total lifestyle change: not-so-hidden in a package of great beauty: a Garden. Life can be constantly stressful; yet caring for a garden, being in a garden, harvesting food from a garden, and eating in a garden all provide deep recovery. Gardens bring amazing change – and gardens can change the world.*
This Category has a few sections, which you can link through to along the right side:
- Calendars – Harvest, Seasonal Interest, and Task to cover what happens when
- Care and Maintenance – including Mulch and Soil subcategories
- Ecology – Concepts and Diagrams & Maps to explain key principles
- Top 10 Lists – favorite Edibles, Natives, and Herbals for large and small gardens
The Calendars and Top 10 Lists sections celebrate colors, bloom times, habit patterns, and textures of blooms, foliage, and bark for their ability to create a haven, a vista, a place to rest – even in the winter months. Because in the Northeast, we have what looks and feels to me like winter from late October until the end of April: a long stretch. Understanding the palette of plants and how well they perform is key to creating year-round beauty that draws one out in all weather.
Care and Maintenance includes information on soil amendments and building nutrition from the ground up – something I feel so strongly about that I do not practice without undertaking a soil lab and analysis, and correcting the trace minerals over time.
I include information on Ecology because these concepts are so useful in developing and explaining landscape strategies to deal with specific sites. I use these diagrams in working with my clients; who have requested access to them, to be reminded of why we did what we did and to continue on that path.
*In a simply stated linear progression, gardening mindfully heals the soil, builds nutrients in it that are taken into your food and into your body, which makes your body vibrant, able to sustain itself without relying on pharmaceuticals (or late-arriving medicine once you are already sick), and gives you a well-being that aids connection with those around you. Growing your own food in a garden that you tend and connect with your neighbors over is a simple, singular way to be fully alive. It mitigates the stress, fear, and imbalance so prevalent in our lives.
I see gardening as a must, we cannot get to health globally any other way. Small-scale, community-based food saves on fossil fuels. With low to no transportation time, higher nutrition is available (freshness being a key factor in nutritive quality). Gardens are wonderful, healing places to be, which brings happiness for all who engage.