Gardening for Others

We put a lot of energy in the garden surrounding our home. Trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables are like friends inviting us to get our hands dirty. The remnants of our ever shrinking lawn also requires water and nourishment until we replace it with bark and randomly placed boulders. Gardening is how we let nature teach us as it speaks of earth and water—letting us know if we are good stewards. Are we creating habitat for other living things?

One way we get feedback about our skill is in the number of pollinators that come to visit. The rotation of seasonal blooms offer color but we are more interested in the little buzzing critters. Are we planting things to be gracious hosts or simply for show? One of our fall asters is very popular. The bees are so thick it looks like a mass of purple cotton candy, an illusion created by hundreds of beating wings and gyrating insects.

Unfortunately, I have noticed fewer people in our neighborhood interested in gardening. They hire a landscaper to maintain the greenery around their house or simply let it go to invasive weeds. I do not know the motivation of everyone, but some would rather just do their day job and then go play. Ironically, many like to play in nature, forgetting the nature that surrounds their home. 

I think there should be some kind of encouragement to garden if one owns property. Maybe a rider on the purchase agreement could read, “The owner of this property understands they have a responsibility for living on this patch of earth and therefore dedicates some time and work creating habitat for other living things while being mindful of water use.”

But no one asked my opinion.

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