The garden is at its height at this time of the year. The sunflowers are blooming and the first tomatoes are getting ripe, while the raspberries and the peas are already finished. Here are some garden-related links for you to peruse:
- Willowcrow writes about the garden resistance movement – replacing front yards with gardens and food forests. (And also see this update on her own recent experiences.) I’ve also heard stories of gardeners in trouble with the local authorities because they’ve planted vegetables in their front yard instead of a lawn. To me, that just doesn’t make sense. A perfectly smooth green lawn has no value for local wildlife, is not very interesting to look at, needs to be mowed regularly, and uses up water, fertilizers, and pesticides. When I have a place of my own, I plan to grow vegetables as well as native plants that require little or no watering.
- Millie discovers life lessons while weeding her garden. Weeding is one of my favourite chores in the garden; there is something oddly relaxing about it. Although normally I don’t enjoy ruthlessly pulling plants out of the ground, weeding to me is more about the idea of sacrificing one group of plants so that others (the vegetables we eat and the flowers we enjoy) can survive and thrive. And I agree with her that gardening should be taught in schools. That would be much more useful than memorizing facts that are forgotten once the final exam is handed in.
- When you have completed the hard work in your garden, then it’s time to relax and spend some time getting to know the individual plants and other creatures that live within it. Waverly Fitzgerald explores a method of observation based on the ideas of Goethe to get to know a common rhododendron plant. This form of nature observation is based not just on an objective assessment of the plant’s physical qualities, but also on developing a relationship with the plant on a more intimate and subjective level, until – at the end – you can speak for and as the plant itself. (You can also check out my tips to become a better observer of nature.)
- Beautiful photos of a snail (named Alice) in the garden. I love snails, and if I’m out walking after a rain I’ll rescue them off the sidewalk so they don’t get stepped on, but I’ve never seen one in our yard.
- Finally, I have recently finished reading a book on gardening – Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden by Diane Ackerman – and I’ll review it here soon.
How does your garden grow?