Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Growing Pains

Judy Bono, The Gardener of the Owl Valley, and Jan Getgood, of Meadowood Nursery, have already taught me much about use of native plants. I have two grassy areas in my garden. I plan to replace the sod with native plants in the spring.

While I am swayed by the multiple reasons to rely on native plants, I can’t promise to tear out my beloved euphorbia or sedum. I love their refreshing architectural shape and interesting foliage colors.

Perhaps the first infatuation with a new plant is what leads some of us to a passion for gardening. You spy a plant across a crowded garden center. It’s a new green in the shade section. Bravely, you edge close to the plant, gently pick up the tag, read the light and soil requirements and think, “ Ahhh, maybe this is the one.” You take it home. Nurturing and watching the plant develop brings either joy or disappointment.

Rules can limit a creative gardening experience. Varying mindsets dictating that planting beds must be certain dimensions or that certain plants should serve only as background plants, while others belong in the vegetable garden, are all under suspicion in my mind.

I leave room for a change of heart. As I learn more, I suspect I will become a bit more of a purist.

There is one solidified aspect of my appreciation of growing. It is my vision of the soil as a commune of living organisms and of the interdependence of all living things.

I hope you grab your shovel, come with your own passions and questions, and join me on this journey. This spring is my first step and I’m loving it.

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