gardening for now
People often say that planting trees is for the future. I’ve said it too, recognizing that my newly planted snow gum (described as slow growing) is unlikely to achieve the desired effect within my lifetime.
But I’m thinking that we really don’t know the future, and need to enjoy trees and everything else now, in the present time. Two conversations with two different people led me to this thought.
Recently I visited an elderly man who was dying. He had lived in his house and garden for over 40 years. An active man, he proudly showed me his vegetable garden, his fruit trees, the vine-covered pergola he built with his own hands, and the see saw he made for his grandchildren. He expressed sadness and grief at leaving all this behind, and said he knew that no one would value and maintain it when he was gone. His wife was not a gardener.
Last week my mother-in-law visited, and gazed thoughtfully at the garden. “Your garden is too big. And too much work. You should build a couple of units there.” I realize that when we sell this house, it is quite likely that the next owner will see the land as potential housing space, not as a garden. Over the past 30 years I have seen many neighbouring gardens cheerfully ravaged to make way for large houses.
So in the future my garden might continue to grow, absorbing a bit of carbon on the way and providing a little much-needed suburban biodiversity. Or … maybe it won’t.