how the garden's changed me
I've been making the garden for 36 years. In a sense you could say the garden's also been making me for 36 years. It's taught me so much over the years. When I started I thought you had to water gardens and you had to spray to get rid of insect pests. I didn't really like, or trust, insects then.
Gradually, through trial and error, research and talking to other gardeners, I started to have a sense of how plants grow and thrive. Whether to prune, and how much to take off. I learned which plants can grow in the tough - love environment that is my garden, and which can't.
I learned about design, how to form a garden picture in my mind, what to do to try to achieve it and then what to do when you realize it hasn't ended up as you imagined it would. Or maybe it has, but only for a short while, and then it doesn't look good any more.
It taught me about photography, to record the fleeting pictures before they change.
And it led me into the world of the blogosphere.
The latest changes are an increased sensitivity to the plants and wildlife in the house and garden.
I used to often move plants around, but now I hate uprooting plants. I hate the little tug they give as they try to resist the violation. And when they're out of the soil, I hate looking at the intricate pattern of the roots with its attached fungi (mycorrhizas) - showing how healthy and established the plant was before I destroyed it.
I hate killing insects. I remember years ago, stomping around the garden in rainy weather and squashing snails. Now I even hate killing cockroaches. Unless bugs appear in plague proportions, which rarely happens, peaceful co-existence is possible.