Rediscovering Our Gardening Instincts And Finding Garden Magic.
Consciously or not, we all feel the need to connect with the earth in some way; to grow things and to cultivate the soil just as our ancestors did. We feel something is missing when we don’t commune with our planet in some way.
How is it that after thousands of years of growing things and living on the land, so many have forgotten or have lost confidence in their ability to grow and garden?
Our disconnection from the earth has given rise to the garden industry. But in reality, the garden industry is making our disconnection ever greater.
The gardening industry has grown up at an amazing speed. TV programmes, books, garden centres, garden maintenance companies; they all attempt to fill the gap for a society that has forgotten how to garden, or just doesn’t have the time. We are being encouraged to approach gardening in the same way that our society approaches most things, and that is from a consumer based, short term and human-centred perspective. As there is so much more to gardening than that, we are being sold short.
Buying yet more garden tools and plants, however nicely displayed, and following some garden advice will not make you a successful gardener.
I love wandering around a garden centre as much as the next person, and maybe more than some, but I know it’s designed to make me buy stuff. I can either enjoy it for what it is: a lovely sweetie shop display, or I can tune into my garden and think,’what would work and make it happy’. The key thing is to buy for the garden, and not for me because my fancy has been tickled.
Rediscovering our instinct, intuition and empathy for the land.
What we need to use is our natural instinct and our empathy with things other than ourselves. It’s what allowed humans grow the first crops, and it’s these skills that we all used for thousands of years in order to survive, feed ourselves, and in time, make gardens. This is such an important element in gardening and it can’t be packaged, priced and sold in any way. Without it we always need more advice and need to buy more things. That’s probably why you haven’t heard much about it in the garden centre.
We need both the practical and the intuitive parts of ourselves in order to create garden magic.
Whether you call it using right and left brain function or something else, it really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we need to be practical, intuitive and empathetic when we garden, and when we do, we recover what we have lost, and something magical occurs. This is a little corner in my sister’s garden. It isn’t planned or organised, and self seeded Evening Primrose and St. John’s Wort grow freely amongst the pots of geraniums and roses. It’s a lovely place to sit and just be because it has garden magic, and time seems to stand still as you sit there amongst the flowers and the murmerous bees.
Magic in the garden is to do with the extraordinary synergies that can arise between all living things.
If you’ve ever been in a garden that makes you feel wonderful, at peace, happy and full of life, you have felt garden magic. You can bet it is a happy garden. A garden resonating with health and balance because of all the harmonious interactions that have happened before you arrived, are happening whilst you stay, and with luck and goodwill, continue to resonate with you after you leave.