Monday, April 14, 2008

Going Natural

For me, last year was all about meeting other gardeners and learning how they garden. This year it will be about going completely organic...or as much as I can as I learn how to do it. (I already missed the organic seed bandwagon - buying hybrids and then learning about heirlooms and seedsavers. DOH! But learning is a process.)

Last year I set out on an adventure to interview fellow gardeners. I've written about it a few times in this blog. (See postings related to my book "The Gardener's Soul" if you would like to read more.) One day, I stood in the garden photographing flowers thinking about my own gardening and art. I love flowers. I garden for the sheer joy and comfort of it. Flowers to me represent everything good about life. They make me happy... I had an epiphany. Others must spend a lot of time in their gardens thinking about why they do it too! I decided to ask. I posted a notice in my favorite garden center, asking gardeners to contact me if they were interested in participating in a project that would lead to a book and exhibit. I photographed and interviewed 14 women in their gardens and spent the winter writing about the experience.

In the course of writing, I also did a lot of research. I read about women gardeners over the history of time. I read about spirituality and gardening. I read many musings on gardening, gardener's correspondence, books on ecology, books on growing your own food. Above all, my readings and my meetings with gardeners last year impressed upon me the importance of conservation. I have always leaned toward organic gardening, but I think I have crossed a threshold. I am currently reading "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson, which in my opinion should be required reading for all high school students. It took me until my thirties to read it. I am moved to do something about man's abuse of the earth. Starting in my own backyard, I will change things.

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