“The world is but a canvas to our imagination,” Henry David Thoreau.
We’ve talked a bit about space and content, but now let’s focus on the suspenders of our garden plan. The art of gardening starts with an intention to create a space with clearly defined attributes and/or benefits. Whether the goal is to provide sustenance and/or joie de vivre, it all starts with a plan and a commitment to show up every day. Frankly, gardens do not merely happen but for the intention. They take a lot of work, at minimum, a daily time commitment to build and/or maintain the space, financial resources, and passion to carry you through the days when you are feeling frustrated by the absence or inconsistency of the current results achieved.
Robin Williams who, by far, is one of my favorite actors and comedians once said, “You’re only given a spark of madness, you mustn’t lose it.” I think the madness to which he refers is a passion for life. Think about what makes your heart sing and create a space where you can be your authentic self, separate from who you are professionally or when you are putting your best self forward. This is a space where you can experience time alone with your thoughts and just be. Maybe I’ve lost some of you with what could be characterized as drivel; but, I assure you that there is a separate and distinct side of ourselves, an inner child that is unbound by emotions like fear, bias, and judgement who is waiting to run free and experience the possible.
This week your assignment is to imagine your growing space. Think about its design and how its construct supports your vision.
- Think about the design of your planned growing space and how it will support your lifestyle (there are many artistic considerations like volume, shape, and consistency that need to be balanced with your needs);
- Think about the various planting options available, e.g., in-ground vs. raised-bed and/or container gardens;
- If you don’t have a big back yard or prefer the garden meet you where you are, consider super-raised bed options, including ones that come with wheels;
- If the plants you’ve chosen grow to more than 12 inches tall, think about structural support, such as bamboo staking, obelisks, and trellising;
- Consider sensitive produce that may be particularly vulnerable to the local pests. I’ve learned the hard-way that merely planting more will not satisfy the rabbits (because they are greedy); and
- Think about other needs, e.g., if you have pets, you may want to plant herbs and vegetables away from their path.