about this blog



I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.

Monday, 10 March 2008

what is slow gardening anyway?

What is slow gardening anyway? Well, it seems to me it's a fairly new term. It derived from the slow food movement and now is being extended to all aspects of life, such as slow living.

As a newish term, and probably inherent in its meaning, it is evolving. It both reflects and contributes to the current debate as we struggle with shifting paradigms forced on us by global warming and other unfortunate consequences of global capitalism, its creed and its greed.

So I will try to say what slow gardening means to me.

Slow gardening isn't about specific actions - it's about how you do it. It means doing gardening mindfully, reflectively, enjoying the process instead of focussing on outcomes.

It's about having patience, recognizing that germinating and growing takes time. It's about composting, nurturing the whole ecosystem contained in the garden, the worms, the insects, the birds and animals.

However, there are some actions which seem to be incompatible with it. I never use sprays to kill insect pests, and don't see the need for fertilizers when you have perfectly good compost to continually improve the soil.

I can't stand the noisy tools people use. OK, if you're a professional gardener, your income depends on using timesaving devices. But have amateur gardeners forgotten how to use a broom, for goodness sake??? Must they use those noise-polluting blower things???

Who needs a noisy power saw? If secauteurs wouldn't do, I would use shearing things. If the branch was too big for the shearing things, then I would use a pruning saw. It takes time, develops my muscles and can be incorporated into the meditative, reflective peaceful and happy-making process of slow gardening.

I noticed a line on a bottle of shampoo which definitely expresses a non-slow philosophical stance: "Wildly Exciting is our Normal". Makes me feel exhausted just thinking about it.

Smell the eucalypts, listen to the cicadas.

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