Friday, May 30, 2008

Why Garden?

There is no unlucky gardener, for each small success outweighs each defeat in his or her passionate heart. Elspeth Thompson, Urban Gardener, 1999

Those of you who visit Bliss regularly know that I usually finish my post with a quote, this time I start with one. I feel it is such a good quote as it is so very true.
Do you, gentle reader, feel that you are a lucky gardener? Do your garden successes outweigh the defeats? For me they certainly do. As a gardener I'm very much aware of how nature works and that not everything will go as planned; seeds will not come up, tulips turn out to be the wrong colour and when at long last the first strawberries are ripe and you want to sink your teeth in a juicy strawberry this can happen:
Killjoy was here!

This certainly counts as a defeat or does it? Has sister slug won the battle of the strawberries? Well, judge for yourself.
A basket full of gooseberries and strawberries

Personally I feel this counts as a resounding success! And yes, they were sweet, juicy and very yummy.

Gardening has made me much more aware of all the good things in life; a beautiful flower opening for the first time,
delicious and healthy food for the table,
the promise of things to come,
a lovely bunch of flowers to brighten up the dullest day,
friends to keep you company,
the heady scent of a rose,
wonderful music,
a burst of glorious colour to gladden the heart,
the list is endless.

So yes, I feel very lucky to be a gardener and I commiserate with all the people who haven't discovered the joy of gardening. But how about you, dear reader, how do you feel about gardening? Has it enriched your life and if so in what way? Do you feel lucky to be a gardener and would you be very sad if you, for whatever reason, could not garden anymore? And what is it about gardening that makes you tick, feel passionate about? In short, why do you garden? One enquiring mind really would like to know.

Have a fun weekend!

copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen


Daphne said...

My vegetable garden is my real joy, so I'd have to say the number one reason is growing my own food. It is of course more than that. I love to watch the plants grow. Each day is a new little joy. In addition, mother nature is always giving me gifts for just being outside. Today was the lilacs that just started giving off their wonderful fragrance. Yesterday it was the wild turkey that nonchalantly walked by the garden while I was working.

Anja said...

Do I feel lucky? Ja zeker! Sinds ik dit jaar echt met tuinieren begonnen ben (na een jaar plannen maken), heb ik ook ondervonden dat je ondanks tegenslag zoveel moois kunt halen uit zon stukje aarde. Heerlijk!

Ik denk dat ik ook een mooie post ga wijden aan dit onderwerp! Why Gardening? Ik laat het je volgende week zien!

Frances, said...

Hi YE, this is going to be a biggee. Gardening defines me, I cannot not garden, in some way, no matter how small. If unable to garden physically, it would be done in my mind, planning elaborate gardens worthy of royalty.

Cheryl said...

I am passionate about gardening and the wildlife who let me share their space. I garden in most weathers and would be devastated if I could not do it anymore.
My most favourite thing is being up at six, going into the garden and quietly strolling around. Running your hands through lavender, the birdsong, smell of newly cut grass and much much more.
Wonderful post Yolanda, your soul reflects in your garden

Flighty said...

I feel lucky, indeed privileged, to have my plot as it fulfils one of my few regrets, namely not having a garden. I would be very sad if I couldn't garden any more, especially as I've only just started.
I garden for the exercise, fresh air, relative peace and quiet, the wildlife and just digging in the dirt.
A lovely entry which I fully relate to as a fellow, albeit novice, gardener.
Happy gardening! xx

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I am, therefore I garden. It's in my blood, my very DNA, the love for growing things. It refreshes & revives, excites & entices. It raises my spirits like nothing else. It satisfies my creative urges. In every other artistic endeavor, my ambition always exceeds my talent. In gardening, it is a partnership with nature, so that the garden is not solely dependent on my abilities. It provides me with something to look forward to, always. I think if I were ever physically unable to garden, I would lose much hope in life, as I would not have something to look forward to constantly. The mundaness of life would be suffocating.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Gardening means so much to me I find it difficult to put it into words. I would be an incomplete person if I wasn't able to garden. I believe I would wither spiritually if I wasn't able to be out in the garden. I am coming to that age where I don't remember not gardening. Not being able to garden is a scary thought.

Ruth Welter said...

Hi Yolanda, your garden is looking beautiful. Yes, I agree that the good out weighs the bad in my garden as well. Sometimes you plant things and they don't do well,'s a bummer but part of the whole gardening adventure. Sometimes things turn out so much better then planned as well. As always, I've enjoyed looking at your photos.

Pam/Digging said...

Your photos are especially lovely for this post, YE. Well done!

Yes, I feel lucky in gardening. Yes, I must garden. As MMD said, it's a creative outlet, with that element of change and chance that Mother Nature brings to the table. It's about beauty, seasonal change, finding peace, AND finding excitement.

Libbys Blog said...

Totally and utterley agree. I have found the last 18 months frustrating, to get back into gardening and then have my back go just adds to it, but there are ways and means and although I might not be doing as much as I wanted too, I can manage a little. The joy of getting your hands dirty!!Has amazing healing powers too!

Salix Tree said...

I garden because I can't help it.. it just happens. It's such a natural part of my life, I think I would garden no matter where I was.
Great post! And I enjoyed reading all the comments as well.
In your picture of the strawberries in the pot, there is another plant growing. I have this little plant also, it's a volunteer in one of my pots. Do you know what it is? It has little purple flowers, a very pretty plant.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Hi all and welcome to Bliss!

* Daphne: welcome and I understand about your veggie garden as I have one too. ;-)

* Anja: another lucky gardener. ;-) How nice that you are going to write a post about this subject too on your blog next week.

* Cheryl: I love that too, the early morning walk around the garden when the day is fresh and new and steeped in tranquility. And thanks for the lovely compliment!

* Mike: I am so happy for you that you have your plot that enriches your life in so many ways. Glad you enjoyed this post and happy gardening to you too! xxx

* MMD: thanks for sharing your feelings about gardening, you express them so very well and I hear you as I feel the same. I have always lived in houses with gardens and cannot bear to think about living in one with a garden. Wonderful comment, thanks for sharing!

* Lisa: for someone who finds it difficult to put it into words you were very eloquent on the subject and I hear you! ;-)Thanks for sharing.

* Ruth: another lucky gardener I see. Have you noticed how optimistic most gardeners are? Is it that we are optimistic because we garden or are we optimistic and therefore we garden? Glad you enjoyed the pics!

* Pam: thanks Pam! Oh yes, excitement is certainly an important part of the gardening experience and so is creativity.

* Libby: thanks for sharing your thoughts about gardening and from experience I know that healing is another bonus you get from gardening. I'm very happy to find that your garden is helping you heal too.

* Sylvia: it's in our blood isn't it? We cannot NOT garden, we have to. Does this mean we are garden addicts, garden junkies? ;-)
That little plant is called cymbalaria muralis or muurleeuwenbek in Dutch.

Thanks all for sharing your thoughts and feelings about gardening, I really enjoyed reading them.

Sue Swift said...

I'm not coming here any more - it makes me too envious :)

Only joking, but you have such a wonderful garden it makes me very discontented with my balcony.I love that green area around the pond, and would love to be able to grow all that fruit and veg. Oh well - I've got a few dwarf beans coming on.

Curtis said...

It all depends on whats happening in the garden when and if I think the garden is doing good. But yes the positives outweigh the negatives.

marga said...

Hier nog een lucky gardner. Heerlijk toch......lekker in de aarde wroeten, wel met blote handen. Alles zien uitspringen, groeien en bloeien, wat is er nou mooier. En dan 's morgens, in de zomer dan, héél vroeg op staan en met een bakje koffie de tuin in. Niks anders horen dan de stilte, de vogels, de waterval van de vijver, een kikker......dát is het échte genieten voor mij.
Je foto's zijn weer mooi, je poezeltjes trouwens ook!!!!!

Gail said...

Fabulous post and I loved the comments, too! I have been so lucky to garden and stumbling upon blogging has brought home I deep my passion is.. I love getting my hands into the soil, looking closely at a flower, noticing the bees and sharing my excitement with folks like you.

Ewa said...

I feel I am complete when I am gardening. I feel I AM part of universe and a small part.
Wonderful post with great pictures.

marl1 said...

"garden, sweet garden" en
"home, sweet home" (als het regent..;-)))

Andrea said...

hello Yolanda, your writing really touches me. My husband saw me outside today and just smiled. Once I get started, I don't feel like coming inside. Every plant in my garden feels like a piece of me. Great post!

PS: I envy you. Your roses are blooming. I am waiting patiently.. but Leonardo Da Vinci and Eden should be first.

Mariella said...

that beautiful thoughts, certainly my par le jardin throughout a whole I have renewed, I have benefited from the penalties and have filled my soul with new energy.
I enjoy sowing seeds for that are very difficult, but the record makes perfect, I enjoy seeing the birth seed, seeking the light opening land and emerge with such life
Every day my life is a flower is born, is in flower, seed or dies, and the following day to be born again.
best regards.

Karin A said...

Why I garden? There are so many answers. I love the work and the process. There is always something to do in the garden, there is no end. I love flowers, to see the first buds and how the fade. The garden gives me a possibility to be relaxed, I don't feel the stress. I would be very sad if I couldn't garden anymore. In fact I've been working away during this spring and I don't feel that harmonious that I normally do. I also love the expectancies, waiting to see if something is successful or not. We learn from our garden mistakes! :)

This was a great post Yolanda. Always good to think about why you do things! Your photos are beautiful...your rhododendron is really nice. Would love to taste one of your strawberries!

Enjoy your sunday! Kram Karin

Layanee said...

Gardening is the music and dance of life. Looking out the window at the slice of garden I can see right now, gives me serenity. Now I must go plant at Mom's! Nice post as always YE. Love that new top picture.

Nicole said...

What an absolutely true quote! I feel the same way about my few years as a gardener, and will surely treasure this eloquent expression. I love seeing my beautiful flowers, sculptural plants, birds that are flourishing in what was a fairly barren place and of course harvest of delish fruits and veggies.
That basket full of gooseberries and strawberries is to die for...

Annie in Austin said...

If that quote means we gardeners are like the 'cockeyed optimists' of the Rogers and Hammerstein song, then it is true, Yolanda Elizabet. We believe that if plants fail there will always be next year, or that the new plant/border/property will be the magic one, or that our weather in Texas will magically mellow and change to the more gentle clime of the Netherlands.

Even if it doesn't happen we're so busy trying we seldom get bored!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

joey said...

As the garden grows, so grows life. A rich story ...

Elke said...

What a wonderful garden, everything looks so lovely and often cute. I like your cats.
Enjoy the good times - Elke

Barbara said...

Why do I like gardening? There would be a hundred answers but in fact, it is something that makes me feel, see, think, smell, observe, listen more intensive and gives me a huge satisfaction, thankfulness and joy. BTW a wonderful post!

Anonymous said...

i feel the imperative to garden. i love it, it makes me happy, but i have to share a different perspective about 'why' i do it.

this week, i worked with an urban planner and soon to be planter, on a project to cleanse and restore an urban scape that currently has nothing but weeds and post-industrial waste on it. the people who live around it are the very poorest in this country. state aid programs are being cut to fund endless war and cronyism; public programs are drying up just food and energy prices are rising. there is no money for "ecocological restoration' projects or the like.

we worked to plan a sustanance plot for 60 families, organized thru a local church and community center. we developed a five year plan, one which involved the families and neighborhoods in the area, and one that operates on a close to 0$ budget. recycling locally produced organic materials played an important part in our design, as well as community and youth participation. there is an educational compenent to what we'd like to do.

no one cares about the very poorest, or the most damaged and degrades parts of our ecosystem. but still, this part of our world affects us all; it's up to serious environmentalists and gardeners with boatloads of money and free time (us) to do something about it.

it's nice to know my own gardens bring me peace and joy. but the earth speaks to her children, and she isn't saying, "this is for you, but not the less fortunate."a

chicago dyke said...

feh. and i really can spell and type, i'm going w/o coffee this week and it's hard, i tell you.

i was mostly speaking to american gardeners, btw. you all do a better job with nature over there across the pond. but we don't care for our spaces here at all, afaic. esp those in which the very poor and least fortunate live. i see so much unused, underutilized space in this country, and i think it must change.

Marian said...

Voor mij werkt een tuin uitgesproken verslavend, als ik eenmaal begonnen ben kan ik niet meer ophouden, stilzitten in de tuin. . . .héél moeilijk, ik zie altijd wel iets ;-)
Maar de rust die van werken in de tuin uitgaat, het geluid van de vogels, de bijen, schapen in de verte, sinds járen weer het geluid van pauwen in de buurt en ook zo nu en dan landbouwmachines, het maakt je hoofd leeg, jammer dat het vooral in het begin van het tuinseizoen zoveel spierpijn oplevert! ;-))
De katjes die in de ren liggen te soezelen, jammer dat ze hier niet los in de tuin kunnen, dat is zo veel gezelliger, maar helaas.
Het hele tuinseizoen smoezelige vingers en kortgeknipte nagels!!
Ik denk trouwens dat jouw aardbeien nog naar aardbeien smaken en niet naar waterballen zoals in de winkel. . .

Brimstone said...

Oh zeker weten dat tuinieren me gelukkig maakt. Het is niet het hele leven, maar maakt wel het leven heel.

precious said...

How I wish I also have those strawberry in my garden. I think it is only leave in a cold weather.I am in tropical

Home Garden

ladyluz said...

Hi Yolanda. Everything is looking gorgeous in your garden and your words got me thinking. The quote "gardening is like medicine, with no need of a prescription nor a dosage limit" says it all for me.

Like you, I'm finding less time for blogging and reading so as to keep up with Mother Nature. Also felt the need for other fun, so took 2 days out recently for outings up the coast. And as soon as we turned out backs, it took twice as long to catch up in the garden! Yin and Yang didn't like it much either and now stand guard at the door as if to keep us at home!

Kerri said...

Gardening is an all-consuming joy for me. It draws me close to my late mother who passed on to me her love of plants and nature.
The dailiness of life is so interesting in the garden..always something happening..little creatures, and sometimes big..going about their business. Nature is truly fascinating. My garden is a place to create, meditate, exercise and enjoy!
And what would a garden be without feline friends? :) We've been harvesting strawberries too..loads of them! My hubby has done a great job with them.
Yes Yolanda, I feel very lucky to be a gardener! What a great question. I've enjoyed reading the answers posted here. And your photos are a lovely bonus.