How exciting- my latest article is on the shelves at bookstores, I believe, throughout the Southeast! Written for the February, 2012 issue of State by State Gardening magazines, “Creating Sanctuary In The Garden” was a fun and provocative piece to craft. I write for Virginia Gardener occasionally, but this particular article to my knowledge is published in their nine state magazines.
“Sanctuary” means dramatically different things to different people. Therefore, writing an article that stayed in the bounds of appropriateness for everyone regardless of their background, spirituality, religion, etc. was a bit challenging. I hope it speaks to you, and perhaps helped you find a new way to enjoy the garden.
More ideas on sanctuary in the garden…
Part of your creation of a garden sanctuary may be the incorporation of what I call a new gardening aesthetic. It may be well to reconsider how we define beauty in the garden. Instead of expecting perfection, we can begin to allow the garden to be less manicured and embrace and find appreciation in the perfection of imperfection. In his book A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle writes:
“The mind is more comfortable w/ a thought created landscape than a forest. There is incomprehensible order and sacredness in the forest to be sensed, not reasoned. To the ordered mind it appears as uncomfortable chaos.”
This concept can also be applied to our traditional idea of a residential landscape. In essence it challenges us to embrace a new and simpler aesthetic; one that is environmentally responsible and a more relaxed idea of garden design. This type of landscape can be more involved to create, but may ultimately require less maintenance, use less chemicals, and produce far less stress.
“The desire to dig in the dirt, plant, connect with nature, and enjoy the outdoors is for many an almost basic need” (from the article.) That said, personally I have to remember to also “just be” in the garden. We are human beings, not human doings; so it’s important to make time to stop, relax and enjoy. If you’re a “type A” person like me thats not always easy. I make a point to spend a few minutes in the evening enjoying our pond and feeding the koi.
To me, tending to and spending time in the garden is comforting and satisfying, and I enjoy it no matter what the season. I laugh and admit I must have gardening in my DNA because there is nothing I’d rather do than piddle outside. “Piddle,” by the way, is a Southern technical term. If you don’t know it, you just need to spend a little more time in the South.