Returning home at 2:30 am from a two-week travel trip, I first went into the garden to see what I could see. I always miss my garden, and though I have it arranged to stay in good care when I travel, I am always eager to see what may have changed.
Traveling reminds me If we are lucky enough to have our little patch of earth, which surrounds the place we call home, whatever the size, with a view of the sky, how can we not celebrate our great fortune? The Persian word for paradise is garden, the enclosed space initially designed to protect people and plants from animals. It translates to me today as the space to protect us from the perils of the 21st century. My resolution for the new year is to go outside to enjoy my garden daily. Note that I said to enjoy my garden; keeping a garden is hard work, continuing work, but the reward is a great joy, and the new year reminds us to resolve for ways to make the coming year better.
Throughout history, gardens have been a place for finding peace, reflection, wonder, and amusement. Let your imagination blossom, wander about, look at the sky, touch the ground, smell the air. What has changed from the day before? Follow the plant as it grows from bud to bloom to spent bloom to seed pod. Seek out the sun and find comfort in the shade. Bring something inside: a flower, a branch, a bud, a feather, a stone. Set your treasure in view and enjoy. Our garden is a work of heart, and art is in the midst of our creation.
Find a gateway through the “I should move, replace, prune, plant.” Resist weeding or stressing about redesigning. In an NYT article, James Barilla wrote on “Gardening for Climate Change,” saying, “Gardening means making the yard hospitable to as many species as possible without worrying so much about whether they originally belonged there.” I resolve to remember we humans are a species, and the garden is ours to enjoy. I encourage you to do the same.
Check out this new book from Lonely Planet, The Joy of Exploring Gardens. The best garden travel book I’ve seen in a decade.