Gardening is Not Just for the Senile
As a child I had the perception of a gardener as an old frail women. In my mind’s eye, she was crouching over a patch of lavender, or maybe some white lilies. This old women, pained with arthritis, stood up slowly from her lavender/lilies with a basketful of freshly cut flowers. She breathed in the fragrance and peacefully walked into her cottage. Flowers cut. Placed in a vase, by her bedside. In my imagination, that night, she died.
Gardening is Not Just for the Grumpy
My own grandmother is a gardener. Fierce and stern. A practical woman, arthritis does not stop her. She was a farm girl and a talented equestrian. My memories are of her shoveling horse crap into her garden beds. Those garden beds always smelled- and not in a nice way. And they never turned out to be all that inspiring- she had a farm to run after all. In her older age my grandmother has softened, but my memories of her gardening are still ones contaminated by her own personal pain. Needless to say I never wanted to be a gardener. I did not want to be old. I did not want to be stern. I did not want to shovel horse crap. What lie was I believing about the art of gardening?
But Gardening is for People who Really like to Compost
Yes, something pulled me in to the magic. Sounds crazy but I became enchanted with composting. Just ask my husband- he had to listen to me rant about the stuff all day long (still does!). Placing all this “trash” into a rotating plastic bucket and 6 months later out comes black gold. I was smitten.
I realized that I’d better learn to garden, because I sure as heck did not want to give away all this awesome compost.
So now my perception of a gardener is a girl, overalls on, trowel defiantly in hand. She is saying “I will make my own food, thank you very much” and “I will create my own beauty today if I wish to do so”. This gardener is not so much a feminist (though that’s okay too), as she is a human being seeking an escape from consuming- consuming all day long. She is a gardener that is partnering with nature, partnering with God (it’s Good Friday- let me have this one), to create magic and sustenance.
What did you think about gardening before you fell in love with it? And how do you feel about it now? Leave a comment if you dare.