In my humble little opinion the most important things a gardener can cultivate are: curiosity; patience; acceptance & hard work. Oh, and a sense of humor. That comes in really handy. I drafted this list on the spot after hearing someone describe gardening as too overwhelming and scary to know where to begin. It probably isn’t for everyone. I’m not really sure where my obsession with plants comes from, but they are my friends. And flowers are people, too.
I’ve been gardening for going on 20 years now and I learn something new every season, usually the hard way. Less stubborn souls may have given up by now, but not if they’re as enchanted with horticulture as I have become. Gardening has probably saved my sanity at least twice in my life, of this I am certain. There few other distractions that prove to be as fruitful, nor addictions that could ever be so wholesome. A seed catalog in January is exactly the promise of hope my winter weary soul relies upon each year.
To be a gardener is to look at the world through a very primal lens. The agrarian model offers such an elegant philosophy to apply to ones own personal cultivation, in addition to their garden plot. I am, no doubt, more fully alive in a tech saturated world that I willingly (and enthusiastically) subscribe to because I care to set the rhythm of my life to that of the seasons. We have much to gain by remembering the ancient ways of our ancestors and embracing a more harmonious lifestyle. It benefits not only Mother Earth, but her children, as well. My garden taught me all of this and more.
Each spring I can scarcely believe that the delicate seeds I plant will actually grow and they do. I am always giddy at the first sights of green shoots. I hope I never lose that sense of awe. And every Autumn when the harvest is finally in and Jack Frost is playing chicken with what’s left of my plants I am always sad to see the season end. I hope I never lose that sense of reverence. To become a really good gardener is a lifelong pursuit and while I’ve learned a thing or two, I await the lessons yet to come with the same dreamy anticipation I reserve for mid-winter seed catalog browsing!